The generation of stationary π-electron rotations in chiral aromatic ring molecules possessing non-degenerate excited states
The electron angular momentum is a fundamental quantity of high-symmetry aromatic ring molecules and finds many applications in chemistry such as molecular spectroscopy. The stationary angular momentum or unidirectional rotation of π electrons is generated by the excitation of a degenerated electronic excited state by a circularly-polarized photon. For low-symmetry aromatic ring molecules having non-degenerate states, such as chiral aromatic ring molecules, on the other hand, whether stationary angular momentum can be generated or not is uncertain and has not been clarified so far. We have found by both theoretical treatments and quantum optimal control (QOC) simulations that a stationary angular momentum can be generated even from a low-symmetry aromatic ring molecule. The generation mechanism can be explained in terms of the creation of a dressed-state, and the maximum angular momentum is generated by the dressed state with an equal contribution from the relevant two excited states in a simple three-electronic state model. The dressed state is formed by inducing selective nonresonant transitions between the ground and each excited state by two lasers with the same frequency but having different polarization directions. The selective excitation can be carried out by arranging each photon-polarization vector orthogonal to the electronic transition moment of the other transition. We have successfully analyzed the results of the QOC simulations of (P)-2,2′-biphenol of axial chirality in terms of the analytically determined optimal laser fields. The present findings may open up new types of chemical dynamics and spectroscopy by utilizing strong stationary ring currents and current-induced magnetic fields, which are created at a local site of large compounds such as biomolecules.