A frequency-dependent quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics method for the calculation of response properties of molecules adsorbed on metal nanoparticles is presented. This discrete interaction model/quantum mechanics (DIM/QM) method represents the nanoparticle atomistically, thus accounting for the local environment of the nanoparticle surface on the optical properties of the adsorbed molecule. Using the DIM/QM method, we investigate the coupling between the absorption of a silver nanoparticle and of a substituted naphthoquinone. This system is chosen since it shows strong coupling due to a molecular absorption peak that overlaps with the plasmon excitation in the metal nanoparticle. We show that there is a strong dependence not only on the distance of the molecule from the metal nanoparticle but also on its orientation relative to the nanoparticle. We find that when the transition dipole moment of an excitation is oriented towards the nanoparticle there is a significant increase in the molecular absorption as a result of coupling to the metal nanoparticle. In contrast, we find that the molecular absorption is decreased when the transition dipole moment is oriented parallel to the metal nanoparticle. The coupling between the molecule and the metal nanoparticle is found to be surprisingly long range and important on a length scale comparable to the size of the metal nanoparticle. A simple analytical model that describes the molecule and the metal nanoparticle as two interacting point objects is found to be in excellent agreement with the full DIM/QM calculations over the entire range studied. The results presented here are important for understanding plasmon-exciton hybridization, plasmon enhanced photochemistry, and single-molecule surface-enhanced Raman scattering.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry