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Garrek Stemo, a third-year doctoral student in the Quantum Photo-Science Laboratory, received the Best Presentation Award at the 17th Annual Meeting of the Japan Society for Molecular Science.

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【Prof.Hiroyuki Katsuki , Garrek Stemo】

Garrek Stemo, a third-year doctoral student in the Quantum Photo-Science Laboratory, received the Best Presentation Award at the 17th Annual Meeting of the Japan Society for Molecular Science (JSMS), held September 12-15, 2023 in Osaka University. With more than 1,000 participants and 600-800 presentations, this is the largest event organized by JSMS. The conference presenters elucidate the origins of molecular properties and functions.

Ultrafast dynamics in an azide under vibrational strong coupling

Garrek Stemo, Joel Nishiuchi, Harsh Bhakta, Haochuan Mao, Garret Wiesehan, Wei Xiong, Hiroyuki Katsuki


One would not expect two closely-spaced mirrors to have an effect on chemical reactivity, yet that is exactly what has been demonstrated now by several groups over the past few years. By placing molecules that ordinarily react in a resonant cavity, one can suppress or enhance the reaction rate. When the cavity resonance is tuned to energetically match a molecular transition, the cavity photon and molecular transition reversibly exchange energy and form so-called polariton states. Exactly how the formation of these light-matter states affects chemical reactivity is far from clear. Femtosecond pulse lasers are necessary to probe these short-lived polariton states. The authors have used pump-probe and 2D IR spectroscopic methods to record coherent Rabi oscillations and transient spectral features of polaritons in an organic azide for the first time.

Thank you to the organizers of the JSMS Annual Meeting for a stimulating conference. The lively exchanges with the audience during my presentation was invigorating, and this award is a reflection of the fruits of that scientific discussion. I am thankful for receiving this award and hope that it is a sign that my research is on the right track. I thank Harsh Bhakta, Dr. Haochuan Mao, Garret Wiesehan, and Prof. Wei Xiong at the ultrafast laboratory at the University of California San Diego for hosting me for three months and patiently teaching me 2D IR spectroscopy. I would also like to thank my advisor, Prof. Hiroyuki Katsuki, for allowing me the autonomy to pursue my scientific interests wherever they may lead.

Award URL: https://www.molsci.jp/activities/award/winner/poster/


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