Introduction to Quantum Chemistry
Chemical bonds are quantum mechanical. Because of this, quantum mechanics is required to understand many of the functionally important properties of molecules. Quantum mechanical behaviour can also be exploited to study the structure, dynamics and composition of molecular objects and collections of molecules, such as those that occur in cells and tissues. In this way quantum mechanical methods are also used to study molecular biology.
Quantum Chemistry ranges from the development of our fundamental understanding of molecules, through chemical applications, to a range of applications of quantum phenomena used to study biomedical problems. Examples include obtaining a deep understanding of bond making and bond breaking in chemical reactions and the use of coherent quantum superposition states for ultrasensitive measurements of protein and DNA structure and dynamics and their interactions with drug molecules.
Multidimensional Quantum Coherence Spectroscopy (MQCS) uses a sequence of ultrafast laser pulses to stimulate and measure quantum coherences in matter. These coherences can be used to determine and read-out the coupling between quantum states, and these couplings in turn produce decongested spectra which carry information about the structure and dynamics of the matter under study. We are using MQCS to understand these complex coherent states in large molecules as well as using them study structure and dynamics in proteins, DNA and small molecule (drug) interactions, as well as imaging and analysing drugs in blood, cells and tissues.