Detecting multiple chiral centers in chiral molecules with high harmonic generation

Ofer Neufeld, Omri Wengrowicz, Or Peleg, Angel Rubio, Oren Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Characterizing chiral is highly important for applications in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as in the study of dynamical chemical and biological systems. However, this task has remained challenging, especially due to the ongoing increasing complexity and size of the molecular structure of drugs and active compounds. In particular, large molecules with many active chiral centers are today ubiquitous, but remain difficult to structurally analyze due to their high number of stereoisomers. Here we theoretically explore the sensitivity of high harmonic generation (HHG) to the chiral of molecules with a varying number of active chiral centers. We find that HHG driven by bi-chromatic non-collinear lasers is a sensitive probe for the stereo-configuration of a chiral molecule. We first show through calculations (from benchmark chiral molecules with up to three chiral centers) that the HHG spectrum is imprinted with information about the handedness of each chiral center in the driven molecule. Next, we show that using both classical- and deep-learning-based reconstruction algorithms, the composition of an unknown mixture of stereoisomers can be reconstructed with high fidelity by a single-shot HHG measurement. Our work illustrates how the combination of non-linear optics and machine learning might open routes for ultra-sensitive sensing in chiral systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3729-3740
Number of pages12
JournalOptics Express
Issue number3
StatePublished - 31 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


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