Chirality and spin selectivity in electron transfer processes: from quantum detection to quantum enabled technologies (CASTLE)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Chirality of molecules is a key concept in life science and chemistry. Recently, the observation that electron transfer through chiral molecules can induce high spin polarization even at room temperature has extended the interest in chirality to the physics community as well. Electrons with their spin aligned parallel or antiparallel to the electron transfer displacement vector are preferentially transmitted depending on the chirality of the molecular system. Chirality-induced spin selectivity (CISS) has been observed in many experiments but mainly in an indirect way and in the presence of a solid substrate acting as an electrode. The CASTLE project envisions a major shift in the methodology to investigate this relevant chirality effect. First, the phenomenon will be studied at the intramolecular level by photo-inducing electron transfer in donor-acceptor pairs connected by a chiral linker. Direct detection of spin polarization will be performed through pulsed and time-resolved electron and nuclear magnetic resonance techniques in combination with molecular spin quantum bits acting as quantum sensors. CASTLE plans also to harness the CISS effect to drastically advance the use of molecular spins in quantum information technologies. CISS has the potential to realize initialization, control, and readout of the molecular spin qubit, thus paving the way towards room-temperature operation. The knowledge acquired with CASTLE will impact a wide range of fields, ranging from magnetless spintronics to dynamic nuclear polarization for NMR signal enhancement, or from catalysis to light harvesting.
Effective start/end date1/1/23 → 12/31/28


  • Università degli Studi di Firenze (Project 101071533 // Project 101071533)
  • European Research Council (Project 101071533 // Project 101071533)


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