New methods for linear and nonlinear Spectroscopy in inhomogeneous electromagnetic fields

Project: Research project

Project Details


Lasse Jensen of the Pennsylvania State University is supported by an award from the Chemical Theory, Models and Computational Methods program in the Division of Chemistry to develop theoretical tools for describing molecules situated in very small gaps between metal nanoparticles. Under these conditions the interactions between light and the molecule is complicated due to the strong confinement of light in the gap. The emphasis of this project is to understand how molecules are altered due to the confinement of light. The studies may provide an understanding of how molecules organize at metallic interfaces with applications in catalysis, energy conversion and trace molecule detection. Professor Jensen develops new computational tools to describe techniques that measure molecular interactions with light. These tools are disseminated to the broad scientific community through incorporation into available computational chemistry software packages. Using interactive nano-optics simulators, Professor Jensen educates high school, undergraduate and graduate students on the differences between our macroscopic world and the nanoscale.

Professor Jensen is developing a multiscale model to describe the spectroscopy of molecules in highly inhomogeneous electromagnetic fields in plasmonic junctions. His goal is to understand the spectroscopy of molecules in highly confined fields where the selection rules known from traditional far-field spectroscopy breaks down. Such computational tools provide the microscopic understanding of how these highly confined fields modify the molecular response and how fluctuations in the local environment influences the response. Using this multiscale model, Professor Jensen and coworkers investigate how the response properties of molecules are affected by a spatially confined electromagnetic fields, the specific details of the junction, and the coupling to nearby molecules. This is essential for understanding how the confined electromagnetic fields influence the molecular properties and ultimately its chemistry.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date7/1/196/30/23


  • National Science Foundation: $456,714.00


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