Condensed and Living Matter Seminar: Topology, Spin and Orbital in DNA-type Chiral Quantum Materials

Binghai Yan (Weizmann Institute of Science)
- | David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A8
binghai yan

In chemistry and biochemistry, chirality represents the structural asymmetry characterized by non-superimposable mirror images for a material like DNA. In physics, however, chirality commonly refers to the spin-momentum locking of a particle or quasiparticle in the momentum space. While seemingly unrelated characters in different fields, the structural chirality leads to the electronic chirality featured by the orbital-momentum locking encoded in the wavefunction of chiral molecules or solids, i.e. the chirality information transfers from the atomic geometry to the electronic orbital. The electronic chirality provides deep insights into the chirality-induced spin selectivity (CISS), in which electrons exhibit salient spin polarization after going through a chiral material. It also gives rise to new phenomena in unusual light-matter interaction.  These chirality-driven effects will generate broad impacts in fundamental science and technology applications in spintronics, optoelectronics, and biochemistry.