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Keywords:

  • Femtochemistry;
  • chirality;
  • time-resolved spectroscopy;
  • polarized spectroscopy

Abstract

Observing chirality changes as they occur is an important topic of research. It provides information that deepens the understanding of biomolecular configuration and conformation under environmental changes. Also, knowing the specific steps in chiral synthesis would simplify the production of specific chiral enantiomers that have a specific function. To gain better insight to the initial steps of conformational and configurational changes, the time-resolution of chiral spectroscopy is continually pushed toward a shorter time-scale. Recent advances have produced measurements of chirality changes with a femtosecond time-resolution. These measurements are hindered by the inherently weak chirality signal, which can be overshadowed by different optical artefacts. This minireview will look at the so far successful techniques which measure chirality changes with femtosecond time-resolution and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these techniques. A short outlook will also look at new techniques that could improve the ability to measure chirality changes on an ultrafast time-scale.