Physical and Chemical Aspects of Surface Chirality – Professor Stephen Jenkins, University of Cambridge

January 16, 2019 @ 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm
Department of Chemistry
Unilever lecture theatre
Lisa Masters

Chiral objects are those that can exist in one of two mirror-image
forms, in just the same way that the human hand comes in both right-
and left-handed varieties. The chirality of an object can alter its
interactions with other chiral objects, with effects ranging from
the exquisitely subtle to the fundamentally profound. Over the past
two decades, a great deal of progress has been made towards an
understanding of the various ways in which chirality at surfaces
can influence the chemistry that takes place on them. A key theme
has been the propagation of asymmetry from the length-scale of a
single molecule, through that of the molecule’s local environment,
up to that of an extended supra-molecular network. Rather less
attention has been paid to the physics of chiral surfaces, despite
the fact that mechanical, optical, magnetic and electronic aspects
of the surface are all likely to be influenced by structural asymmetry.
This talk aims not only to provide an overview of achievements in chiral
surface physics and chemistry, but also to point towards the challenges
and opportunities associated with bringing these two fields together.