Chiral molecules and the electron spin
The electron’s spin is essential to the structure of matter and control over the spin orientation opens avenues for manipulating the structure of molecules and materials. The energy associated with interacting electron clouds changes with their relative spin orientation. Controlling the relative spin orientation of electrons located on two reactants (atoms, molecules, or surfaces) has proved challenging, however. Recent developments based on the Chiral Induced Spin Selectivity (CISS) effect show that the spin orientation is linked to molecular symmetry and can be controlled in ways not previously imagined. For example, the combination of chiral molecules and electron spin opens a new approach to (enantio)selective chemistry, by adsorbing chiral molecules on a superconducting surface the order parameter is changes. In my talk I will review the theoretical concepts underlying the CISS effect and illustrates its importance by discussing some of its manifestations in Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Spin based device engineering.