MOLECULE-FIELD QUANTUM COHERENCE
Professor Gruebele’s research interests include protein folding, patterning of molecular structures on silicon surfaces, and controlling the reactivity of organic molecules using lasers. He recently developed a new theoretical description for the control of molecular energy flow. Controlling the behavior of molecules with fully quantum-mechanical electromagnetic fields offers exciting possibilities for guiding chemical reactions with lasers, quantum computing, and new forms of quantum-coherence spectroscopy.
During his Center appointment Professor Gruebele will be joined by a physics graduate student and a Beckman Fellow to further develop this methodology in several directions, including improved computational approaches, such as evaluation of the control function using Feynman path integrals; simulations of experimentally practicable systems (small organic molecules); and a new spectroscopy technique that analyzes, with much finer detail than conventional techniques, the imprints molecules make on the electromagnetic field. The results may make it possible to harness molecules for quantum computation, or to optically control the outcome of chemical syntheses.