Theory and Light-Matter Interactions

The Theory and Light-Matter Interactions Cluster brings together expertise in theoretical chemistry, spectroscopy, synthesis and nanophotonics to tackle a wide range of scientific questions.

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Theoretical chemistry deals with the application of the fundamental laws of quantum mechanics to the interpretation, modelling and calculation of the structure, energetics, dynamics, chemical and physical properties of atoms, molecules and materials. Optical processes are important in many areas of science. Spectroscopic characterisation gives us information about molecular structure, and the optical properties of molecules and materials can be manipulated synthetically to address specific applications, for example in solar energy capture, biological imaging and sensors. Theory and experiment are complementary: theory has an important role in interpretation of new experimental results, and new experiments challenge us to devise new theory.

Optical processes are important in many areas of science. Spectroscopic characterisation gives us information about molecular structure, and the optical properties of molecules and materials can be manipulated synthetically to address specific applications, for example in solar energy capture, biological imaging and sensors.

Major themes

  • Ultra-fast spectroscopy - studies of dynamics of electrons and energy transfer in condensed phases; development of methods for the control of charge-separated states in transition metal complexes; measurements on proteins involved in photosynthesis
  • Biological imaging - highly luminescent metal chromophores, development of photosensitisers
  • Raman spectroscopy - development of portable apparatus for environmental monitoring and biological applications
  • Surface spectroscopy - XPS and secondary ion mass spectrometry of organic monolayers, thin films and biological assemblies
  • Plasmonics - use of nanoplasmonic phenomena to understand mechanisms involved in photosynthesis
  • Theoretical chemistry - development of electronic structure theory, graph theoretical and quantum dynamics methods. Application to aromaticity, chemical reactivity, intermolecular interactions, carbon nanostructures, materials, molecular conduction, molecular self-assembly and photochemistry.

People

For further information about Theory and Light-Matter Interactions at Sheffield please see the staff page of individual researchers below:

Professor Patrick W. Fowler, FRS

Professor Julia A. Weinstein

Dr Adrien Chauvet

Dr J. Grant Hill

Dr Michael F. A. Hippler

Dr Natalia Martsinovich

Professor Anthony J. H. M. Meijer

Members of other research clusters active in theory and light-matter Interactions:

Dr Marco Conte

Dr Timothy D. Craggs

Professor Graham J. Leggett

Professor Jim A. Thomas

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