Chirooptical Properties of Helical Electroactive Molecules

Our group and Barnes’s group reported the chiroptical response of single, conjugated helical triarylamine molecules. This study led to our groups to ask some fundamental questions: What factors affect optical rotation, circular dichroism or circularly polarized luminescence in molecules? Solvent? Orientation? Local environment? Other factors? If so, why and how?

Chiroptical properties has been used to understand the absolute structure of molecules and macromolecules. However, the absolute value of the chiroptical property, say optical rotation, changes dramatically depending on various factors. For example, a chiral compound may have an optical rotation of (+)100 in one solvent and (-)100 in an another solvent.

We are synthesizing helical molecules with specific functionalities to anchor them on surfaces. In collaboration with Prof. Barnes and his group, we are studying the single molecule chiroptical spectroscopy of these molecules to find the answers a fundamental question: What factors affect chiroptical properties and how?

Impact of our work: Fundamental understanding of chiroptical properties, Fabrication of efficient polarized light emitting diodes, Fabrication of chiral surfaces, and Backlights for LCDs.