Hsing-Ta Chen

Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Friday, May 5
1:30-2:00 p.m.

“Building Theoretical Tools for Controlling Dynamics in Strong Light-Matter Coupling”


The interaction of molecules and materials with confined electromagnetic fields, such as nanoplasmonic modes and microcavity photons, leads to the emergence of many intriguing phenomena. The hybridization of material properties and photonic excitations results in complex dynamical processes that are fundamentally different from conventional photoexcitation and have applications ranging from boosting radiation emission (superradiance laser), and mobilizing electronic motions (exciton-polariton transport), to modifying chemical reactions (polaritonic chemistry). However, understanding and controlling the mechanistic dynamics in strong light-matter coupling is still challenging due to the lack of stable and efficient simulation methods. In this presentation, I will talk about our recent efforts in modeling electron transfer coupled to a cavity photon and developing a theoretical toolbox for simulating collective excitation in nanoparticles. 


Prof. Hsing-Ta (Theta) Chen joined the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 2022. Prior to this, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher with Profs. Joseph Subotnik and Abraham Nitzan at the University of Pennsylvania. Chen received his Ph.D. in Chemical Physics with Prof. David Reichman at Columbia University and his M.S. in Physics and B.S. in Mathematics and Physics from National Taiwan University.

His research interests focus on developing theoretical tools and using high performance computing facilities aimed at excited-state dynamics and light-matter interactions. The systems studied range from plasmonic excitation of metallic clusters, laser-driven non-adiabatic molecular dynamics, and collective optical response of molecular ensembles. These systems are of key importance for understanding many recent experimental advances that cannot be accurately predicted by current theoretical approaches. Our major goal is to develop reliable theoretical models and simulation methods to guide experimental improvements in next-generation photovoltaic cells and facilitate new design principles for enhancing energy conversion efficiency.

Relevant Energy Publications
  1. Li, Tao E., Hsing-Ta Chen, Abraham Nitzan, and Joseph E. Subotnik. "Quasiclassical modeling of cavity quantum electrodynamics." Physical Review A 101, no. 3 (2020): 033831.
  2. Zhou, Zeyu, Hsing-Ta Chen, Abraham Nitzan, and Joseph Eli Subotnik. "Nonadiabatic dynamics in a laser field: Using Floquet fewest switches surface hopping to calculate electronic populations for slow nuclear velocities." Journal of chemical theory and computation 16, no. 2 (2020): 821-834
  3. Chen, Hsing-Ta, Tao E. Li, Abraham Nitzan, and Joseph E. Subotnik. "Understanding detailed balance for an electron-radiation system through mixed quantum-classical electrodynamics." Physical Review A 100, no. 1 (2019): 010101.
  4. Chen, Hsing-Ta, Tao E. Li, Maxim Sukharev, Abraham Nitzan, and Joseph E. Subotnik. "Ehrenfest+ R dynamics. I. A mixed quantum–classical electrodynamics simulation of spontaneous emission." The Journal of chemical physics 150, no. 4 (2019): 044102.
  5. Li, Tao E., Hsing-Ta Chen, and Joseph E. Subotnik. "Comparison of Different Classical, Semiclassical, and Quantum Treatments of Light–Matter Interactions: Understanding Energy Conservation." Journal of chemical theory and computation 15, no. 3 (2019): 1957-1973.

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