Chirality and spin: A different perspective on enantioselective interactions

Ron Naaman*, Yossi Paltiel, David H. Waldeck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This review describes a new perspective on the role that electron spin plays in the intermolecular forces between two chiral molecules and between chiral molecules and surfaces. This different role of the spin arises from the chiral induced spin selectivity (CISS) effect which is manifest when electrons are moving in chiral molecules. Namely, it has been shown that as chiral molecules are charge polarized, the electron displacement is accompanied by spin polarization. The spin direction associated with each electric pole depends on the specific handedness of the molecule. Thus, the consideration of the dispersive forces between two molecules, or between a molecule and a substrate, must include the spin polarization which adds an enantioselective electronic term to the interaction potential. We review recent experiments that show the relation between charge polarization and spin polarization in chiral molecules. The spin polarization also affects the direction of the ferromagnetic substrate magnetic moment of a surface, upon which the chiral molecules are adsorbed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)394-398
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Swiss Chemical Society.


  • Enantiospecific
  • Ferromagnet
  • Hall device
  • Oligopeptide
  • Spin polarization


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