Effects of Electric Fields on Structure and Reactivity: New Horizons in Chemistry
CHAPTER 9: Manipulation of Molecules by Combined Permanent and Induced Dipole Forces
Published:05 Mar 2021
B. Friedrich, in Effects of Electric Fields on Structure and Reactivity: New Horizons in Chemistry, ed. S. Shaik and T. Stuyver, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2021, pp. 317-342.
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This chapter describes a versatile technique to control molecular rotation and translation. The technique is based on the combined effect of external electric fields that act concurrently on the molecular permanent and induced dipole moments. This synergistic effect arises for any polar molecule, as only an anisotropic polarizability, along with a permanent dipole moment, is required. This is always available in polar molecules. The effect of the combined fields can be achieved either by superimposing an electrostatic and a far-off resonant optical field (i.e., one that supplies electric field strength but does not cause transitions) that act, respectively, on the molecule's permanent and induced electric dipole, or by making use of a unipolar electromagnetic pulse that seizes the permanent and induced dipole moments simultaneously. If the combined electric fields are homogeneous, only molecular rotation is affected, whereas inhomogeneous fields affect both molecular rotation and translation. As noted in the chapter, the ability to manipulate molecular rotation and translation has wide-ranging applications – in research areas as diverse as reaction dynamics, spectroscopy, higher harmonic generation and molecular orbital imaging, the focusing and trapping of molecules, as well as quantum simulation and computing.