Perspective in JACS

Our perspective about chemistry under vibrational strong coupling just appeared in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. We expose the fundamentals of light-matter strong coupling, the recent advancements in vibro-polaritonic chemistry and the numerous perspectives offered by this new approach, that is easy to implement and thus promising for future exploration of light-matter interactions in molecular and material sciences.

Back to school !

A new publication, presenting results obtained in collaboration with National Taiwan Normal University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University just appeared in ACS Photonics. We achieved ultrafast polarization of light by combining the anisotropic optical nonlinear response of ITO at its epsilon-near-zero region with a plasmonic nanoantennas array, at their polarization-sensitive resonance. A rotation of light polarization of more than 30° is obtained together with a π/7 phase change within 600fs. Such a large anisotropic nonlinearity is a significant step towards the realization of ultrafast polarization modulators and phase retarders.


Angewandte paper !

A new publication just appeared in Angewandte Chemie International Edition , in collaboration with IPCMS, Strasbourg, and University of Heidelberg. We studied the self-assembly of a conjugated polymer under vibrational strong coupling. It appeared under electron microcopy that the supramolecular morphology is totally different from that observed in the absence of strong coupling. Morever the self-assembly kinetics is modified and depends on which bond of the solvent is coupled.

Review in Science

A review entitled “Manipulating matter by strong-coupling to vacuum field” just appeared in Science. It has been written by Pr T.W. Ebbesen in collaboration with Pr. F. Garcia-Vidal and Pr. C. Ciuti and it summarizes the actual knowledge on the surprizing implications of the strong coupling regime on matter properties, both on an experimental and theoretical point of view.

(Left) Charge transfer complexation between mesitylene and iodide(courtesy of K. Nagarajan). (Right) Energy transfer between donor and acceptor molecules (courtesy of J. Galego)

Spring publications !

We are pleased to announce two new publications.

First, our paper about the enhancement of the ferromagnetism of YBCO nanoparticles under strong-coupling has been accepted in Nano Letters and is now available in open access. Making use of cooperative strong-coupling, we measured a strong ferromagnetism even at room temperature, that competes with superconductivity below the Tc of YBCO. Thanks and congratulations to our collaborators from IPCMS !

Second we published a “Feature Article” in Physics Today, in collaboration with Jérôme Faist from ETH Zürich, dealing with the control of new properties in materials via the hybrid light-matter states created in optical cavities.

To read by the fireside during this rainy and cool spring !

Welcome to Yoichi !

We have the pleasure to welcome a new postdoctoral researcher in our group, Yoichi Sasaki, coming from Japan. He received his phD degree from Kyushu University in 2021 on near-infrared-to-visible photon upconversion, under the supervision of Prof. Nobuhiro Yanai and Prof. Nobuo Kimizuka. His research interests are photochemistry, physical chemistry and material chemistry. Welcome to him !


Non linearity enhanced by strong coupling

Our latest results have just been accepted for publication in Nature Communications. In this work we strongly couple the exciton of cyanine dye J-aggregates to an optical mode of a Fabry-Perot (FP) cavity, and achieve an enhancement of the complex nonlinear refractive index by two orders of magnitude compared with that of the uncoupled condition. Moreover, the coupled system shows an ultrafast response of ~120 fs that we extract from optical cross-correlation measurements. The ultrafast and large enhancement of the optical nonlinar coefficients in this work paves the way for exploring strong coupling effects on various third-order nonlinear optical phenomena and for technological application. The paper is now accessible in Open Access on Nature Communications website and on our publications page.

Double departure

We have started the year with two members less in the group : Robrecht Vergauwe and Samuel Albert have indeed finished their postdoctoral contracts in the end of December 2020. They were both very supportive for younger labs members and involved in organizing conviviality moments, contributing to the good cohesion of the team. We will miss their presence in the lab and we wish them all the best for their future !

Source : Minghao Li


Most of the people were happy to see the end of 2020 and expect the new year as a renewal, more than ever. A lot of pressure on the shoulders of 2021 then ! Let’s hope it will indeed be a “bit more normal”…  We wish happiness, health and success to all our friends and collaborators around the world !

Symmetry yrtemmyS

Vibrational strong coupling (VSC) has recently been shown to change the rate and chemoselectivity of ground state chemical reactions via the formation of light‐matter hybrid polaritonic states.Our recent observation that vibrational mode symmetry has a large influence on charge transfer reactions under VSC suggested that symmetry considerations could be used to control other types of chemical selectivity. We thus explored the stereoselectivity of the thermal electrocyclic ring‐opening of a cyclobutene derivative, a reaction which follows the Woodward‐Hoffmann rules, under VSC. The direction of the change in stereoselectivity depends on the vibrational mode that is coupled, as do changes in rate and reaction thermodynamics. All this is summarized in a new publication, resulting from a collaboration with Joseph Moran‘s group, that just appeared in Angewandte Chemie in Open Access, but also in our publication page.