Sub-molecular Imaging of Light-matter Interaction

  • FHI/IMS Joint Online Seminar
  • Date: May 9, 2022
  • Time: 11:00 AM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Anna Rosławska
  • Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, IPCMS
  • Host: Melanie Müller
Sub-molecular Imaging of Light-matter Interaction
Light-matter interaction plays a crucial role in the quantum properties of light emission from single molecules, and in electron-to-photon and photon-to-electron energy conversions. Such mechanisms are usually probed using optical methods, which are, however, spatially limited by diffraction to a few hundred nanometers.

On the other hand, scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) routinely reaches picometre spatial scale. Recent works have shown that the tunneling current of an STM can be used to excite the intrinsic luminescence of individual molecules or defects enabling light-matter interaction investigations with unprecedented resolution. In the talk, I will discuss how the STM-induced luminescence allows us to map the optical properties of single molecules with nearly atomic precision [1] and image electron injection dynamics into a defect state with a gigahertz frame rate [2]. With this approach, we are also able to mimic structures employed by photosynthetic systems and study sub-nm details of the energy transfer process using molecules as ancillary, passive or blocking elements to promote and direct resonant energy transfer between distant donor and acceptor units [3]. Such control over optical properties at the molecular level is possible using only this hyper-resolution optical approach, which does not suffer from ensemble averaging.
[1] Rosławska, A.; Neuman, T.; Doppagne, B.; Borisov. A. G.; Romeo, M.; Scheurer, F.; Aizpurua, J.; Schull, G., Phys. Rev. X 12, 011012, 2022.
[2] Rosławska, A.; Merino, P.; Leon, C.; Grewal, A.; Etzkorn, M.; Kuhnke, K.; Kern, K., Nano Lett., 20, 11, 2021.
[3] Cao, S.; Rosławska, A.; Doppagne, B.; Romeo, M; Feron, M.; Cherioux, F.; Bulou, H; Scheurer, F.; Schull, G., Nat. Chem., 13, 2021.

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