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Light-controlled reactions at the nanoscale

Imaging of molecular fragments enables all-optical control of the reaction sites with nanometer resolution on nanoparticle surfaces. Illustration: RMT.Bergues

Controlling strong electromagnetic fields on nanoparticles is the key to triggering targeted molecular reactions on their surfaces. Such control over strong fields is achieved via laser light. Although laser-induced formation and breaking of molecular bonds on nanoparticle surfaces have been observed in the past, nanoscopic optical control of surface reactions has not yet been achieved. The UEN team has now closed this gap and determined for the first time the location of light-induced molecular reactions on the surface of isolated silicon dioxide nanoparticles using ultrashort laser pulses.

Publication: W. Zhang et al., Optica 9, 551 (2022)

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