Yuen Zhou, Joel
Molecular photonics: theory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
We are interested in an eclectic mix of science at the interface of theoretical chemistry, condensed matter theory, materials science, and nanophotonics. We carry out research using and developing tools in quantum, classical, and statistical mechanics, solid state physics, and electromagnetism. An overriding theme in our recent research is "molecular photonics," namely, the interaction of light with molecular matter, both in the weak and strong coupling regimes.
In the weak-coupling regime, we study natural light harvesting under incoherent illumination (such as sunlight), as well as linear and coherent nonlinear spectroscopies. Emphasis on these topics vary throughout the years. Recently, we have worked on a theory which addresses an interesting scenario where the textbook semiclassical light-matter interaction breaks down, and a quantum-field theoretical description of ("classical" laser) light is required to give the correct qualitative and quantitative answer.
In the strong-coupling regime, we are interested in polaritons, light-matter hybrid excitations that can induce exotic charge and energy transport (see our recent work on topological phases) as well as new ways to control chemical reactivity.
A recurring theme of our work is the development of new concepts which can guide experimental work towards the discovery and interpretation of new chemical and materials phenomena. We like to work with paper and pencil (analytical theory), but also design our computational tools tailored to address the conceptual question of interest.
Primary Research Area
Computational and Theoretical
Co-organized the First SoCal TheoChem Symposium at UCSD in 2016; faculty host in Research Scholars program; participant in Clubes de Ciencia, Ensenada 2015.
I identify both as Hispanic and Asian, having grown up in Mexico City under a Chinese household. Given this, I believe I have a somehow unique perspective on issues concerning racial and socioeconomic diversity. I am fully committed to working with students and colleagues to further a more inclusive, diverse, and tolerant environment in the Physical Sciences and across campus.
- León-Montiel R de J, Hu Z, Yuen-Zhou J "Genuinely quantum effects in nonlinear spectroscopy: vacuum fluctuations and their induced superradiance", arxiv.org/abs/1606.05717, 2016,
- Yuen-Zhou J,Saikin SK,Zhu T,Onbasli MC,Ross CA,Bulovic V,Baldo MA "Plexciton Dirac points and topological modes.", Nat Commun, 2016, Vol. 7, 11783
- Johnson AS,Yuen-Zhou J,Aspuru-Guzik A,Krich JJ "Practical witness for electronic coherences.", J Chem Phys, 2014, Vol. 141, Issue 24, 244109
- Yuen-Zhou J, Krich JJ, Kassal I, Johnson A, Aspuru-Guzik A "Ultrafast spectroscopy: quantum information and wavepackets", IOP e-book, 2014,
- Yuen-Zhou J,Arias DH,Eisele DM,Steiner CP,Krich JJ,Bawendi MG,Nelson KA,Aspuru-Guzik A "Coherent exciton dynamics in supramolecular light-harvesting nanotubes revealed by ultrafast quantum process tomography.", ACS Nano, 2014, Vol. 8, Issue 6, 5527-34
- Yuen-Zhou J,Saikin SK,Yao NY,Aspuru-Guzik A "Topologically protected excitons in porphyrin thin films.", Nat Mater, 2014, Vol. 13, Issue 11, 1026-32
- Kassal I,Yuen-Zhou J,Rahimi-Keshari S "Does Coherence Enhance Transport in Photosynthesis?", J Phys Chem Lett, 2013, Vol. 4, Issue 3, 362-7
- Yuen-Zhou J,Krich JJ,Aspuru-Guzik A "A witness for coherent electronic vs vibronic-only oscillations in ultrafast spectroscopy.", J Chem Phys, 2012, Vol. 136, Issue 23, 234501
- Yuen-Zhou J,Krich JJ,Mohseni M,Aspuru-Guzik A "Quantum state and process tomography of energy transfer systems via ultrafast spectroscopy.", Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2011, Vol. 108, Issue 43, 17615-20
- Yuen-Zhou J,Tempel DG,Rodríguez-Rosario CA,Aspuru-Guzik A "Time-dependent density functional theory for open quantum systems with unitary propagation.", Phys Rev Lett, 2010, Vol. 104, Issue 4, 043001