MSE Seminar Series: Roel Tempelaar (Northwestern)


Kimball Hall B11


Bridging chiroptics and spintronics with strong light–matter coupling

Chiroptics involves the preferential interaction of matter with light of a select circular polarization. Such polarization is a direct manifestation of the photonic spin state. As such, there is an intricate relationship between chiroptics and the transduction between photonic spin and matter-based polarizations. This relationship becomes particularly relevant for spintronics, where such polarizations are selective to electronic spins, with ramifications for quantum information applications and spin chemistry. In this talk, I will discuss how strong light–matter coupling opens new opportunities for transducing spin polarization between optical modes and matter through the formation of chiral polaritons – hybrid light–matter excitations. I will present challenges arising when producing chiral polaritons by means of conventional Fabry–Pérot cavities, and highlight how a chiroptical phenomenon called "apparent circular dichroism" could provide a practical means of realizing polaritons involving desirable spin polarizations.

Roel (pronounced "Rule") was born in the Netherlands. He received his Ph.D. in 2015 from the University of Groningen, where he was advised by Jasper Knoester and Thomas La Cour Jansen. During his graduate years the Dutch government awarded him the Huygens Fellowship to conduct research at Temple University under guidance of Frank Spano. For his postdoctoral studies at Columbia University in the group of David Reichman he received the Rubicon Grant from the Dutch Research Council. He started as an assistant professor of chemistry at Northwestern University in January 2020. In 2022 he was a recipient of the NSF CAREER award.