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Physical and Chemical Aspects of Surface Chirality

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Chiral objects are those that can exist in one of two mirror-image forms, in just the same way that the human hand comes in both right- and left-handed varieties. The chirality of an object can alter its interactions with other chiral objects, with effects ranging from the exquisitely subtle to the fundamentally profound. Over the past two decades, a great deal of progress has been made towards an understanding of the various ways in which chirality at surfaces can influence the chemistry that takes place on them. A key theme has been the propagation of asymmetry from the length-scale of a single molecule, through that of the molecule’s local environment, up to that of an extended supra-molecular network. Rather less attention has been paid to the physics of chiral surfaces, despite the fact that mechanical, optical, magnetic and electronic aspects of the surface are all likely to be influenced by structural asymmetry. This talk aims not only to provide an overview of achievements in chiral surface physics and chemistry, but also to point towards the challenges and opportunities associated with bringing these two fields together.

This talk is part of the Theory - Chemistry Research Interest Group series.

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