T-ERC_STG - Tremplin-ERC Starting

Attosecond Photochemistry: controlling chemical reactions with electrons – ATTOP

Submission summary

ATTOP is a theoretical chemistry project that will explore the synergy between the fields of attoscience and photochemistry. Chemical processes initiated by light are extremely widespread and their applications cover vital molecular research fields from medicine to computer science and energy conversion. However, photochemical reactions are limited by the nature and finite number of molecular electronic excited states and thus often lack control and selectivity. To overcome this fundamental limitation, ATTOP proposes to bring very recent technological progress in extreme ultrashort light pulses - attosecond science - to the field of photochemistry and to explore the nascent field of ``atto-photochemistry''. Indeed, light pulses of such short duration have a large spectral bandwidth and excite multiple electronic excited states in a simultaneous and coherent manner. This superposition, called an ``electronic wavepacket'', has a new electronic distribution and is thus expected to lead to a new reactivity. However, two key questions remain for now unresolved: what is the reactivity of a molecule in these new types of electronic states that are becoming accessible experimentally? To what extent will the manipulation of an electronic wavepacket produced by an attosecond domain pulse transform the outcome of chemical reactions? As an emerging field, atto-photochemistry requires theoretical support right from the start. Thanks to a unique combination of expertise in both theoretical attoscience and photochemistry, the ATTOP team will describe accurately chemical reactions induced by electronic wavepackets via attosecond domain pulses. The final aim of ATTOP is to develop a general know-how to design electronic wavepackets and attosecond experiments hence transforming the outcome of photochemical reactions for diverse applications. By doing so, atto-photochemistry will revolutionize photochemistry, with direct impact onto many other domains of molecular science.

Project coordination


The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.



Help of the ANR 32,526 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: March 2022 - 24 Months

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