Polariton chemistry: controlling molecular dynamics with optical cavities
Molecular polaritons are the optical excitations which emerge when molecular transitions interact strongly with confined electromagnetic fields. Increasing interest in the hybrid molecular-photonic materials that host these excitations stems from recent observations of their novel and tunable chemistry. Some of the remarkable functionalities exhibited by polaritons include the ability to induce long-range excitation energy transfer, enhance charge conductivity, and inhibit or accelerate chemical reactions. In this review, we explain the effective theories of molecular polaritons which form a basis for the interpretation and guidance of experiments at the strong coupling limit. The theoretical discussion is illustrated with the analysis of innovative applications of strongly coupled molecular-photonic systems to chemical phenomena of fundamental importance to future technologies.