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Journal Articles Physical Review X Year : 2021

Chiral thermodynamics in tailored chiral optical environments


We present an optomechanical model that describes the stochastic motion of an overdamped chiral nanoparticle diffusing in the optical bistable potential formed in the standing-wave of two counter-propagating Gaussian beams. We show how chiral optical environments can be induced in the standing-wave with no modification of the initial bistability by controlling the polarizations of each beam. Under this control, optical chiral densities and/or an optical chiral fluxes are generated, associated respectively with reactive vs. dissipative chiral optical forces exerted on the diffusing chiral nanoparticle. This optomechanical chiral coupling bias the thermodynamics of the thermal activation of the barrier crossing, in ways that depend on the nanoparticle enantiomer and on the optical field enantiomorph. We show that reactive chiral forces, being conservative, contribute to a global, enantiospecific, change of the Helmholtz free energy bistable landscape. In contrast, when the chiral nanoparticle is immersed in a dissipative chiral environment, the symmetry of the bistable potential is broken by non-conservative chiral optical forces. In this case, the chiral electromagnetic fields continuously transfer, through dissipation, mechanical energy to the chiral nanoparticle. For this chiral nonequilibrium steady-state, the thermodynamic changes of the barrier crossing take the form of heat transferred to the thermal bath and yield chiral deracemization schemes that can be explicitly calculated within the framework of our model. Three-dimensional stochastic simulations confirm and further illustrate the thermodynamic impact of chirality. Our results reveal how chiral degrees of freedom both of the nanoparticle and of the optical fields can be transformed into true thermodynamics control parameters, thereby demonstrating the significance of optomechanical chiral coupling in stochastic thermodynamics.
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Dates and versions

hal-03093206 , version 1 (17-11-2021)



Gabriel Schnoering, Samuel Albert, Antoine Canaguier-Durand, Cyriaque Genet. Chiral thermodynamics in tailored chiral optical environments. Physical Review X, 2021, 11 (4), pp.041022. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevX.11.041022⟩. ⟨hal-03093206⟩
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