Atomistic electrodynamics simulations of bare and ligand-coated nanoparticles in the quantum size regime

Xing Chen, Justin E. Moore, Meserret Zekarias, Lasse Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The optical properties of metallic nanoparticles with nanometre dimensions exhibit features that cannot be described by classical electrodynamics. In this quantum size regime, the near-field properties are significantly modified and depend strongly on the geometric arrangements. However, simulating realistically sized systems while retaining the atomistic description remains computationally intractable for fully quantum mechanical approaches. Here we introduce an atomistic electrodynamics model where the traditional description of nanoparticles in terms of a macroscopic homogenous dielectric constant is replaced by an atomic representation with dielectric properties that depend on the local chemical environment. This model provides a unified description of bare and ligand-coated nanoparticles, as well as strongly interacting nanoparticle dimer systems. The non-local screening owing to an inhomogeneous ligand layer is shown to drastically modify the near-field properties. This will be important to consider in optimization of plasmonic nanostructures for near-field spectroscopy and sensing applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8921
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Nov 10 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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