Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship awarded to Alec Owens

01 July, 2018

Alec Owens, postdoctoral researcher in the Controlled Molecule Imaging Group, was awarded a prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship for his research proposal regarding the chirality of molecules in high angular momentum states.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation promotes research collaborations between excellent foreign and German researchers. The foundation has awarded Alec a Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers for his proposal entitled ‘Creating, controlling, and imaging chirality in molecular super-rotors'. The fellowship will allow him to perform this research project in the CMI group of Jochen Küpper starting from summer 2018.

Alec will utilize state-of-the-art computational tools developed in the CMI group to investigate aspects of dynamic chirality induced by extreme rotational excitation; from creating, controlling, and imaging through to the prediction and detection of its chiroptical properties. The aim is to deliver new insights into the phenomenon of rotationally-induced chirality in molecular systems and explain its significance in a wider scientific context. Notably, how dynamic chirality differs from traditional “static” chirality and how this effect manifests in observable quantities. Achieving such an understanding may lead to the development of chirality-based molecular and material properties, new states of matter, and the possible utilization of dynamic chirality in novel metamaterials or optical devices. On a fundamental level, an improved theoretical understanding of molecular chirality will contribute to our basic knowledge of physical, chemical, and biological processes.

Related Information

Alec Owens’ personal page

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation