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Expert Oriol Arteaga takes part in the international Chiral Materials Team awarded by the UK Royal Society of Chemistry

The expert Oriol Arteaga, from the Faculty of Physics and the Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (IN2UB) of the UB.

The expert Oriol Arteaga, from the Faculty of Physics and the Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (IN2UB) of the UB.

The Horizon Prize selected the discovery of chiral organic materials that allow a high control of proton and electron spin.

The Horizon Prize selected the discovery of chiral organic materials that allow a high control of proton and electron spin.

The team has pioneered an alternative approach to control the light waves and the spin of electrons in organic materials through the development of new chiral materials.

The team has pioneered an alternative approach to control the light waves and the spin of electrons in organic materials through the development of new chiral materials.

There are many extraordinary applications of chiral molecules that can open the way for technological innovations which do not exist yet.

There are many extraordinary applications of chiral molecules that can open the way for technological innovations which do not exist yet.

08/06/2022

Recerca

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) of the United Kingdom has awarded the Horizon Prize to a team of experts on chiral materials in which Oriol Arteaga, from the Faculty of Physics and the Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (IN2UB) of the UB takes part. The team, led by experts from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Israel, includes members of institutions from Spain, the United States, Germany and Italy.

The RSC is an entity that was founded in 1841 in London and is built up by more than 50,000 members from all over the world. For more than 150 years, the prizes of this society distinguish the excellence in chemical sciences. This year, the Horizon Prize selected the discovery of chiral organic materials that allow a high control of proton and electron spin.

The awardees join now a prestigious list of distinguished scientists with awards given by the RSC, such as Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Fraser Stoddart and Ben Feringa, awardees of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016for the design and synthesis of molecular machines, the smallest ones in the world.

 

Future applications of chiral compounds

As part of the study, expert Oriol Arteaga focused on the optical characterization of the new organic materials that absorb and emit circularly polarized light with a technique known as Mueller matrix polarimetry. “As an expert, I had the previous experience in optical characterization of chiral materials. The international team contacted me when they found that my website featured tools I had worked on and which could be useful for better understanding the optical response of this materials”, notes Arteaga.

Francesco Tassarini, lecturer at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy), highlights that “the research team is well structured and includes great scientists with diverse specializations. Having chemists and physicists that work closely together allows us to make an incredible scientific work”.

A great range of current and future technologies depend on the careful control of a fundamental property of the electrons and light waves called spin —intrinsic angular moment—. Although the current applications span computer memory and 3D displays, the future opportunities go to quantum computing, high-performance displays and authentication products.

The team has pioneered an alternative approach to control the light waves and the spin of electrons in organic materials through the development of new chiral materials —molecules with mirror images that cannot be superimposed— which absorb and emit a strong circularly polarized compound. The materials and methods used by the team show the strongest circularly polarized responses identified to date and shed light on the advances in applications that depend on the spin.

“The collaboration was decisive —notes professor Matther Fuchter, from the Imperial College London— to help us understand many aspects of chirality science. This team benefited from the situation of being part of a great European network of training of doctorands called HEL4CHIROLED. Not only does this network support our research but it also creates many ideas and possibilities that will lead to new and exciting opportunities”.

“There are many extraordinary applications of chiral molecules that can make existing technologies more environmentally sustainable while they open the way for technological innovations which do not exist yet”, notes Jessica Wade, researcher at the Imperial College.

“Some of the most incredible works in chemistry are carried out by teams and collaborations that use the diversity of thinking, experience and skills to obtain amazing results. These synergies are at the cutting edge of knowledge to broaden understanding the world around us”, concludes Helen Pain, chief executive of RSC.

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