Research Topic

Electronic and Nuclear Quantum Dynamics of Molecules in Intense Laser Fields

About this Research Topic

In the period between the 1980s to the beginning of the new millennium, femtochemistry has been one of the greatest achievements in the field of Physical Chemistry. This has been achieved with advances in laser technology, such as the introduction of femtosecond pulse-shaping and coherent control. Quantum optimum control scenarios have been proposed and applied towards designing the best laser fields for controlling nuclear motions. Now in the first two decades of the new millennium, further progress in laser technology has made it possible to investigate ultrafast electron dynamics by using attosecond pulses with a central frequency of visible to UV and VUV regions. Recent theoretical and computational studies of coherent electron dynamics in molecules provide intriguing results, which include production of valence isomers with high steric hindrance. Furthermore, fundamental information on functional characteristics, such as ring current and current-induced magnetic field, is has been made possible by quantum dynamical simulations of pi-electron rotations under intense laser field condition.

While innovative results have been reported, we are still on the way to reach our prospective directions. From a theoretical point of view, improvements on the theoretical and computational treatments of the molecule−intense laser interactions are still required to fully analyze the ultrafast electronic and nucleus quantum dynamics induced by ultrashort intense pulses. The motions of both the electrons and nuclei have been found to be correlated with each others’ in intense laser fields, and effects of nonadiabatic couplings have to be considered. Quantum chemical calculation methods have to be developed to take properly into account electronic correlation effects in the presence of strong electromagnetic fields. Results of quantum dynamical simulations on the laser-driven coherent rotational motion of pi-electrons in aromatic ring molecules indicate generation of unidirectional ring currents. This provides the fundamental principle for realization of functional devices such as highly effective ultrafast switching ones.

We welcome Original Research, Review, Mini Review and Perspective articles on themes including, but not limited to:

• Observation of unidirectional motions of charged particles produced by ultrashort pulses
• Improvement of the theoretical and computational procedures for nonperturbative interactions between molecule and strong laser fields such as dynamic Stark effects
• Quantum optimal control of coherent charged species localized at a site or transfer to an another site
• Experimental and theoretical verification of molecular chirality transformation in a pre-oriented racemic mixture and randomly oriented racemic mixture
• Generation and detection of coherent ring currents in molecular systems like 2D-sheet of polycyclic hydrocarbons
• Magnetic fields induced by inverse Faraday effects in molecular systems


Keywords: attosecond pulses, ring currents, intense laser fields, quantum control, coherent electronic and nuclear motions


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

In the period between the 1980s to the beginning of the new millennium, femtochemistry has been one of the greatest achievements in the field of Physical Chemistry. This has been achieved with advances in laser technology, such as the introduction of femtosecond pulse-shaping and coherent control. Quantum optimum control scenarios have been proposed and applied towards designing the best laser fields for controlling nuclear motions. Now in the first two decades of the new millennium, further progress in laser technology has made it possible to investigate ultrafast electron dynamics by using attosecond pulses with a central frequency of visible to UV and VUV regions. Recent theoretical and computational studies of coherent electron dynamics in molecules provide intriguing results, which include production of valence isomers with high steric hindrance. Furthermore, fundamental information on functional characteristics, such as ring current and current-induced magnetic field, is has been made possible by quantum dynamical simulations of pi-electron rotations under intense laser field condition.

While innovative results have been reported, we are still on the way to reach our prospective directions. From a theoretical point of view, improvements on the theoretical and computational treatments of the molecule−intense laser interactions are still required to fully analyze the ultrafast electronic and nucleus quantum dynamics induced by ultrashort intense pulses. The motions of both the electrons and nuclei have been found to be correlated with each others’ in intense laser fields, and effects of nonadiabatic couplings have to be considered. Quantum chemical calculation methods have to be developed to take properly into account electronic correlation effects in the presence of strong electromagnetic fields. Results of quantum dynamical simulations on the laser-driven coherent rotational motion of pi-electrons in aromatic ring molecules indicate generation of unidirectional ring currents. This provides the fundamental principle for realization of functional devices such as highly effective ultrafast switching ones.

We welcome Original Research, Review, Mini Review and Perspective articles on themes including, but not limited to:

• Observation of unidirectional motions of charged particles produced by ultrashort pulses
• Improvement of the theoretical and computational procedures for nonperturbative interactions between molecule and strong laser fields such as dynamic Stark effects
• Quantum optimal control of coherent charged species localized at a site or transfer to an another site
• Experimental and theoretical verification of molecular chirality transformation in a pre-oriented racemic mixture and randomly oriented racemic mixture
• Generation and detection of coherent ring currents in molecular systems like 2D-sheet of polycyclic hydrocarbons
• Magnetic fields induced by inverse Faraday effects in molecular systems


Keywords: attosecond pulses, ring currents, intense laser fields, quantum control, coherent electronic and nuclear motions


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

20 October 2021 Abstract
20 January 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

20 October 2021 Abstract
20 January 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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