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Chirality-Induced Spin Coherence in Electron Transfer Reactions

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journal contribution
posted on 29.01.2021, 22:29 by Thomas P. Fay
Recently, there has been much interest in the chirality-induced spin selectivity effect, whereby electron spin polarization, which is dependent on molecular chirality, is produced in electrode–molecule electron transfer processes. Naturally, one might consider if a similar effect can be observed in simple molecular charge transfer reactions, for example, in light-induced electron transfer from an electron donor to an electron acceptor. In this work, I explore the effect of electron transfer on spins in chiral single radicals and chiral radical pairs using Nakajima–Zwanzig theory. In these cases, chirality, in conjuction with spin–orbit coupling, does not lead to spin polarization, but instead, the electron transfer generates quantum coherence between spins states. In principle, this chirality-induced spin coherence could manifest in a range of experiments, and in particular, I demonstrate that the out of phase electron spin echo envelope modulation pulse electron paramagnetic resonance experiment would be able to detect this effect in oriented radical pairs.