Quantum effects in small molecular systems: Faraday Discussion

10 - 12 September 2018, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

The quantum mechanical properties of small molecules provide the basis for our quantitative understanding of chemistry and a testing ground for new theories of molecular structure and reactivity. With modern methods, small molecular systems can be investigated in extraordinary detail by high-resolution spectroscopic techniques in the frequency or the time domains, and by complementary theoretical and computational advances. This combination of cutting-edge approaches provides rigorous tests of our understanding of quantum phenomena in chemistry. The chemical properties of small molecules continue to present rich challenges at the chemistry/physics interface since these molecules exhibit properties in isolation, and interact with their environments, in ways that are not yet fully understood. The coupled electronic and nuclear motions may lead to complex structural or dynamical features that can now be observed experimentally. From a theoretical point of view, these features can only be explained if the quantum nature of the atomic nuclei is considered together with the possible couplings between nuclear and electronic degrees of freedom.
New developments, from both the theoretical and experimental side, are urgently needed if the properties of small molecules are to be optimally exploited in future technological, engineering and biological applications of outstanding importance.
This Faraday Discussion will address the quantum dynamical properties of small molecules, both in isolation where extraordinarily detailed and precise measurements and calculations are now emerging, and when embedded in complex media such as molecular clusters, quantum fluids and bulk liquids.
The Discussion will appeal to researchers working on both isolated and confined molecular systems.
The topics selected for discussion are fundamental in nature, but will have broader impacts in many fields: examples include atmospheric chemistry (e.g., properties and fates of reactive intermediates and long-lived greenhouse gases), biology (e.g. gaseous signalling molecules such as NO, H2S and their bioactive products), physics (e.g., multi-charged molecular ions, cold matter, plasmas, quantum technologies, and high temperature and pressure processes), and astrophysics and astrochemistry (e.g., cold collisions, reaction mechanisms, and the formation of prebiotic molecules).


The Faraday Division have been organising high impact Faraday Discussions in rapidly developing areas of the physical sciences, with a focus on physical chemistry and its interfaces with other scientific disciplines for over 100 years.
Faraday Discussions have a special format where research papers written by the speakers are distributed to all participants before the meeting, and most of the meeting is devoted to discussing the papers. Everyone contributes to the discussion - including presenting their own relevant research. The research papers and a record of the discussion are published in the journal Faraday Discussions.


This meeting aims to gather key participants representing the full scientific scope of the topic, conducting a deep and critical discussion on the spectroscopy and the reactivity of small molecular systems, which will pave the way for new theoretical insights and applications in wider areas. The event will help participants and the community to identify new and still unresolved challenges in the molecular sciences. The focus will be on small molecule chemical physics, which is essential for a deep understanding of the impact of quantum dynamics on these wider fields.


Precise Characterisation of Isolated Molecules
This session will present the latest developments in the field of precise characterization and study of isolated small molecular systems. The emphasis will be on exotic species, including molecules in electronic states located close to dissociation limits or to ionization.
Quantum Dynamics of Isolated Molecules
This session will focus on the quantum nature of electronic and nuclear motions in isolated molecules, their interplay, and their observation and control by advanced laser techniques. We will welcome contributions that offer new advances in the investigation of quantum localization.
Molecules in Confinement in Liquid Solvents
This session will examine how the properties of small molecules are modified by immersion in a liquid solvent. Recent theoretical and experimental developments have highlighted the importance of considering solute-solvent interactions explicitly at the atomic level. The interactions can be long or short range, and can be directional, as for example with hydrogen bonding. They modify ground and excited potential energy surfaces, the non-adiabatic interactions between electronic states, and consequently the nuclear dynamics of molecules undergoing chemical change.
Molecules in Confinement in Clusters, Quantum Solvents and Matrices
This session will focus on isolated molecules confined by a surrounding medium which has pronounced quantum mechanical character. Examples include molecular clusters, quantum solvents (e.g. superfluid He droplets) and frozen solid matrices (e.g. of p-H2), and adsorption at nanostructures. In these quantum environments, unexpected effects have been observed on the properties and dynamics of small solute molecules, which remain to be fully explored and understood.

Poster Prize Winner

Low-energy electron transport in confined systems: From clusters to bulk
Loren Ban, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Abstract Submission

Oral Abstracts and Research Papers

A full research paper containing new unpublished results always accompanies oral presentations at Faraday Discussions. Submit an oral/paper abstract by 22 January 2018 if you wish to be considered for an oral presentation and associated published paper. The oral/paper abstract should outline current research in progress. Authors of the selected abstracts must then submit a full research paper with a significant amount of new, unpublished work by 23 April 2018.

The research papers are reviewed upon submission and are sent to all delegates 4 weeks before the meeting so they can be read in advance. At the meeting the presenting author is allowed five minutes to highlight the main points of their paper, and the rest of the time is for discussion. The discussion is recorded and will be published alongside the research paper in the Faraday Discussion Volume.  

Poster Abstracts 

Submit your poster abstract by 15 July 2018. Posters are displayed throughout the meeting and a poster session is held on the first evening. The Faraday Division Poster Prize will be awarded to the best poster presented by a student at the conference.

Additional Information

Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 6 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation.
Please read the registration information before registering.
You can register by clicking on the online registration link on this page.
Please note accommodation is not included in the registration fee.

Registration includes:
  • Attendance at the sessions 
  • Refreshments throughout the meeting
  • Lunch on all three days
  • Attendance at the poster drinks reception on Monday 10 September
  • Attendance at the conference dinner on Tuesday 11 September
  • A copy of the discussion pre-prints
  • A copy of the final theme issue of Faraday Discussion Volume containing papers presented at the Discussion (issued approximately 6 months after the meeting)
  • **For non-member registrants, membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2019

Registration fees are as follows:
Early Bird
(by 6 August 2018)
(by 20 August 2018)
Member*                 £355                £410
Non-Member***                 £460                £515
Student Member*                 £170                £225
Student Non-Member                 £195                £250

Registration fees are VAT exempt.

  * If you are an Royal Society of Chemistry member and wish to register for this meeting, please select the member option on the online registration page. You will need to enter your membership number.

  **Excluding students, who can order the volume at a reduced price at the conference. 

 ***For non-member registrants, affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2018, the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event

Student Delegates

In order to encourage undergraduate or postgraduate students to attend the Discussion, a reduced conference fee (to include a set of pre-prints but not the final Discussion Volume) is available. This fee applies to those undertaking a full time course for a recognised degree or a diploma at a university or equivalent institution.

 A copy of the publication may be purchased at less than half price, only for orders placed at the meeting where an application form will be made available.  

Conference Dinner

The conference dinner on Tuesday 11 September 2018 and is included in the regsitration fee.
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Terms and Conditions for Events run by the Royal Society of Chemistry

We have two types of grants available to Royal Society of Chemistry members in the Associate category or above to attend this meeting:
  • A limited number of non-competitive travel grants of up to £200 are available for PhD students and early career scientists. These are assigned on a first come, first served basis.
  • Competitive grants of up to £800 are available to assist with international travel expenses for PhD students, postdocs within 10 years of completing their PhD and early career scientists (including technicians and industrialists) within 10 years of leaving full time education. In addition, applicants must have held any form of RSC membership for at least a year prior to application.

To take advantage of these grants and many other benefits, become a member. Follow the link on the right hand side to find out more and join today!

Applications for either grant should be submitted as early as possible, but at least 8 weeks in advance of the start of the meeting (16 July 2018) Please see respective terms & conditions for full eligibility information.
Sponsorship & supporting organisations
A selection of sponsorship opportunities is available for companies who would like to promote their activities at Quantum effects in small molecular systems: Faraday Discussion

As well as booking a table top exhibition space, there are opportunities to sponsor social events, advertise in the abstract book or place a promotional item in delegate packs. For further information and prices please download the sponsorship menu from this page.

Please note that exhibition spaces are limited, spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

If you would like more information about sponsoring Quantum effects in small molecular systems: Faraday Discussion, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry (solutions@rsc.org) Sponsorship Menu
John McIntyre Conference Centre

John McIntyre Conference Centre, The University of Edinburgh, 18 Holyrood Park Road, Edinburgh, EH16 5AY, United Kingdom

If you require accomodation please contact the Events Team.

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