Controlling the symmetry of inorganic ionic nanofilms with optical chirality

Kelly, C. et al. (2020) Controlling the symmetry of inorganic ionic nanofilms with optical chirality. Nature Communications, 11, 5169. (doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-18869-9) (PMID:33057000) (PMCID:PMC7560753)

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Manipulating symmetry environments of metal ions to control functional properties is a fundamental concept of chemistry. For example, lattice strain enables control of symmetry in solids through a change in the nuclear positions surrounding a metal centre. Light–matter interactions can also induce strain but providing dynamic symmetry control is restricted to specific materials under intense laser illumination. Here, we show how effective chemical symmetry can be tuned by creating a symmetry-breaking rotational bulk polarisation in the electronic charge distribution surrounding a metal centre, which we term a meta-crystal field. The effect arises from an interface-mediated transfer of optical spin from a chiral light beam to produce an electronic torque that replicates the effect of strain created by high pressures. Since the phenomenon does not rely on a physical rearrangement of nuclear positions, material constraints are lifted, thus providing a generic and fully reversible method of manipulating effective symmetry in solids.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kadodwala, Professor Malcolm and MacLaren, Dr Donald and Franke-Arnold, Professor Sonja and Crimin, Dr Frances and Kelly, Mr Christopher and Goette, Dr Joerg and Karimullah, Dr Affar and Barnett, Professor Stephen and Barron, Professor Laurence and McKay, Miss Katie and Gadegaard, Professor Nikolaj
Authors: Kelly, C., MacLaren, D. A., McKay, K., McFarlane, A., Karimullah, A. S., Gadegaard, N., Barron, L. D., Franke-Arnold, S., Crimin, F., Götte, J. B., Barnett, S. M., and Kadodwala, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 11:5169
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
173324Mapping the mesoscale structural landscape using "sculpted" chiral plasmonic fieldsMalcolm KadodwalaEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/P00086X/1Chemistry
190883Consortium for advanced materials based on spin chiralityStephen McVitieEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/M024423/1P&S - Physics & Astronomy
173378Astronomy and physics, theoretical physics and application physics / Quantum Theory. Royal Society Research Professorship.Stephen BarnettThe Royal Society (ROYSOC)RP150122P&S - Physics & Astronomy