A Combined Quantum Mechanics and Molecular Mechanics Approach for Simulating the Optical Properties of DNA-Stabilized Silver Nanoclusters

Zacharias Liasi, Lasse Jensen, Kurt V. Mikkelsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


DNA-stabilized silver nanoclusters have emerged as an intriguing type of nanomaterial due to their unique optical and electronic properties, with potential applications in areas such as biosensing and imaging. The development of efficient methods for modeling these properties is paramount for furthering the understanding and utilization of these clusters. In this study, a hybrid quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical approach for modeling the optical properties of a DNA-templated silver nanocluster is evaluated. The influence of different parameters, including ligand fragmentation, damping, embedding potential, basis set, and density functional, is investigated. The results demonstrate that the most important parameter is the type of atomic properties used to represent the ligands, with isotropic dipole-dipole polarizabilities outperforming the rest. This underscores the importance of an appropriate representation of the ligands, particularly through the selection of the properties used to represent them. Moreover, the results are compared to experimental data, showing that the applied methodology is reliable and effective for the modeling of DNA-stabilized silver nanoclusters. These findings offer valuable insights that may guide future computational efforts to explore and harness the potential of these novel systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)937-945
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 23 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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