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From optical to THz control of materials Faraday Discussion

23 - 25 May 2022, London, United Kingdom


This Faraday discussion will be a hybrid event, allowing participation both in person and online.


Join us in London or online in May 2022 for this edition of the Faraday Discussion series. For over 100 years and 300 meetings, Faraday Discussions have been the forefront of physical chemistry. Many of these Discussions have become landmark meetings in their field.
This meeting is for established scientists, post-graduate students and industrial researchers interested in ultrafast control of the physical properties of materials by light excitation and/or THz excitation. Given the rapid development of experimental techniques, including XFEL science, THz science and various pump–probe techniques, and developments in the theory of ultrafast, out-of-equilibrium and multiscale processes driven by light or THz excitation, this meeting will provide a roadmap of where the field is and what the challenges are over the next 5–10 years and beyond.

The unique format of the Faraday Discussions will allow for in-depth discussions, which will stimulate new thoughts and define new horizons, and opportunities to establish new collaborations. An important aspect in the discussions will be the complementarity of experimental materials scientists and theoreticians for designing new ways to control materials or understanding transformation processes.
On behalf of the organising committee, we look forward to welcoming you to London, or if you are joining us virtually, online.
Eric Collet


Faraday Discussions remain amongst the only conferences to distribute the speakers’ research papers in advance, allowing the majority of each meeting to be devoted to discussion in which all delegates can participate.  Following each meeting a written record of the discussion is published alongside the papers in the Faraday Discussions journal.

Find out more about the Faraday Discussions in the video available.


Ultrafast science has been for long limited to the investigation of molecular processes. Over the past 10 years, investigation of ultrafast processes has expanded to material science, with specific aspects related to solid-state like excitation of electrons in band structures, collective phonon excitation, or specific probes for electronic and structural reorganization such as X-ray diffraction or ARPES.
The Faraday Discussion will be organised into the following themes:

Materials science: ultrafast transformation, electron-phonon coupling, multi-scale aspects
Ultrafast phenomena in materials, induced by ultrashort light excitation, are driven by the subtle coupling between electronic and structural degrees of freedom, which is at the origin of the emergence of functions. These functions can be triggered by direct or indirect excitation of various degrees of freedom, such as spin, electron, phonon, and lattice. These ultrafast phenomena concern various materials, from hard-condensed matter to molecular materials, and various properties such as conductivity, magnetism and ferroelectricity. However, the complex out-of-equilibrium dynamics induced by light in these diverse systems show common features at the origin of the emergence of functions, such as the coupling between different sub-systems that are multi-scale in space and time. This session will illustrate the diversity of ultrafast processes in materials science, while looking for universality in their description, understanding and control.
Theory of out of equilibrium light-induced phenomena
Molecular transformations, at the heart of chemistry and emergence of functions, involve subtle and coupled changes of electronic and nuclear configurations. This is also true for photoinduced phase transition in materials. When induced by light, these electronic and structural reorganizations can be extremely fast and coupled. Providing a relevant picture of the transformation process is necessary for developing light-activated functions. This session will discuss the challenges faced by both theoreticians and experimentalists in understanding electron-phonon coupling, conical intersection, which may occur beyond the Born–Oppenheimer approximation. This breakdown of the Born–Oppenheimer approximation is the basis of significant research interest in both fundamental and applied fields related to non-adiabatic phenomena. 
Optical excitation processes
Under light pulse excitation, remarkable molecular processes can emerge, and in the solid state, ultrafast photoinduced phase transitions (PIPT) represent a fascinating route beyond femtochemistry. The PIPT field has developed around two main lines; delocalized photoexcitation in itinerant electron materials, and localized molecular excitation. Enormous progress has been achieved in the description of ultrafast processes, with the intensive development of ultrafast optical, electron or X-ray experiments, opening completely new possibilities for the real time probing of these processes. This session will be devoted to the development of PIPT concepts, which are now vividly exploited in condensed matter, for driving phase transitions on the timescale of a phonon period.
THz and laser field excitation processes
New laser-based technologies promise control of elementary electronic and structural processes in transforming matter on the femtosecond timescale (1 fs = 10-15 s). In this session, we will discuss taking steps towards an unprecedented degree of control over material functionality. We will also discuss how nonlinear phononics represents a new method for triggering structural dynamics, and how new excitation processes are able to transform materials in the ground state, thus promising capabilities overpassing optical excitation, through more selective and directive processes.

Abstract submission

Oral abstracts - CLOSED

A full research paper containing new unpublished results always accompanies oral presentations at Faraday Discussions. Submit an oral/paper abstract by 27 September 2021 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 10 January 2022.

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 - CLOSED

Submit your poster abstract by 14 March 2022. Posters are displayed throughout the meeting, both in-person and virtually. The Faraday Division poster prize will be awarded to the best poster presented by a student.
As this Discussion is being planned as a hybrid event we will be using a dedicated online poster platform to show all posters. Poster presenters who are attending the Discussion in-person will also need to print and display their poster physically. If your poster is accepted for this event, you will receive an email from us with further information for those attending in-person and inviting you log on to the poster platform where you will be able to upload a PDF of your poster.

Additional information

All oral and poster abstracts will be reviewed by the committee.  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. 

Planning your trip

We encourage delegates who are planning to attend events in person to arrange suitable travel and accommodation insurance, which should include cover for the postponement or cancellation of travel caused by regulations and guidelines relating to Covid-19. We also recommend considering flexible travel and accommodation booking options where possible. 

In-person registration includes:

  • Attendance at all scientific sessions
  • Live interaction with delegates attending virtually
  • Attendance at the poster session and access to the online poster gallery
  • Refreshments throughout the meeting and lunch on all three days
  • Attendance at the poster drinks reception
  • Attendance at the conference dinner on 24 May 2022
  • Access to all journal paper pdf “pre-prints” before the meeting
  • Access to recordings of all scientific sessions post-event
  • ***A copy of the Faraday Discussion journal volume, issued approximately 5 months after the meeting, containing all papers presented at the meeting and accompanying discussion comments.

Virtual registration includes:

  • ​Attendance at all scientific sessions via the Royal Society of Chemistry’s virtual conference platform
  • Live interaction with delegates attending in-person and other virtual delegates
  • Access to the online poster gallery and exhibitor/sponsor virtual rooms
  • Access to all journal paper pdf “pre-prints” before the meeting
  • Access to recordings of all scientific sessions post-event
  • ***A copy of the Faraday Discussion journal volume, issued approximately 5 months after the meeting, containing all papers presented at the meeting and accompanying discussion comments. 

In-person registration fees are as follows (subject to VAT at the prevailing rate):

Early-bird Standard
RSC Member* £315 £365
Non-member** £415 £465
Student RSC member* £145 £195
Student non-member £175 £225
Accompanying person £100 £100

Please note accommodation is not included in the in-person registration fee.
Virtual registration fees are as follows (subject to VAT at the prevailing rate):
RSC Member* £95
Non-member** £145
Student RSC member* £45
Student non-member £65

* If you are a 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.  If you are a member of the Institute of Physics please select "non-member" and use the discount code you have been given to access the member rates.

**For non-member registrants, affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2022 is available, the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event.
***Excluding students, who can order the volume at a reduced price at the conference. 

Student delegates

In order to encourage undergraduate or postgraduate students to attend the Discussion, a reduced conference fee is available for students. 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 Faraday Discussion journal volume containing papers presented at the Discussion (issued approximately 5 months after the meeting) is not included in the student registration fee. Students may purchase a copy of the volume at less than half price. This discounted price is available to delegates when ordering during the registration process.  

Accompanying person

If you would like to bring a guest to the conference, this can be done during the registration process. There will be a charge of £100 which will include all lunches, refreshments and the conference dinner. The fee does not include attendance at any scientific sessions, journal paper pre-prints or the journal volume.


The Royal Society of Chemistry is keen to encourage and enable as many people as possible to attend our events, to benefit from the networking opportunities and the chance to hear talks from leaders in the field. If you would like to discuss accessibility, please contact us to discuss your requirements so that we can enable your attendance.

Terms and Conditions for Events run by the Royal Society of Chemistry


Researcher development grant

If you are an RSC member and a PhD student or postdoctoral researcher based at a higher education or research institution you are eligible to apply for a Researcher development grant.

This grant can provide up to £500 towards activities that will develop your skills and experience as a researcher, which includes participation at conferences, either in-person or virtual.

Applications are processed monthly, with the deadline for each round being the last day of the month, and decisions being sent out by the 21st of the following month. Researcher development grants can be applied for in addition to Grants for carers and Assistance grants.

Grants for carers

Grants for carers have been introduced following the Royal Society of Chemistry Breaking the barriers report where 78% of chemists working in UK academia felt that managing parenting and/or caring responsibilities has an impact on women’s retention and progression. This fund is not limited to women scientists and welcomes applications from anyone with caring responsibilities. These grants have been supported by The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemists’ Community Fund.

You can apply for up to a maximum of £1000/year to assist with additional financial costs that you incur for care usually provided by you whilst you attend a chemistry related meeting, conference or workshop or a professional development event.

Caring responsibilities are wide and varied, and so each application will be individually assessed, examples of applications that we will consider include:

  • paying for extra home help or nursing care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • additional medical/respite care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • travel expenses for a relative to travel with you to care for dependents whilst you attend a meeting or event
  • paying for extended hours with a care worker/childminder/play scheme to cover time when you will arrive home later than normal.
You are eligible to apply if: 
  • you are a chemist
  • you will incur additional caring expenses whilst attending a chemistry-related meeting, conference, event or workshop or a professional development event
  • you will use these funds to cover the cost of care that you usually provide 
  • you are based in the UK or Ireland or if not, you will normally have held three years RSC membership (past or current).
Sponsorship & supporting organisations
A selection of sponsorship opportunities is available for companies who would like to promote their activities at the 2022 Faraday Discussion series

There are opportunities available to become the Faraday Discussion series sponsor,  Research & Development partner or Poster prize series sponsor as well as some individual meeting options. A sponsorship menu document will be available to download from this page with more details and prices.

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 the 2022 Faraday Discussion series, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on Sponsorship Menu
The Royal Society of Chemistry

The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA, United Kingdom

This event is a hybrid event. For those attending in-person, venue details are as below. Virtual attendance will take place via the Royal Society of Chemistry’s virtual conference platform. For details of what’s included in virtual and in-person attendance, please see the registration section.
We are actively planning to hold this event in a hybrid format. Should the event move to be held in virtual-only format, any in-person delegate registrations will be refunded for the difference between in-person and virtual registration fees.
Accommodation is not included in the registration fee.

Ellis Salsby run an accommodation booking service, if you would like any assistance please use the link provided.

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