Static polarizabilities of dielectric nanoclusters

Hye Young Kim, Jorge O. Sofo, Darrell Velegol, Milton W. Cole, Gautam Mukhopadhyay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


A cluster consisting of many atoms or molecules may be considered, in some circumstances, to be a single large molecule with a well-defined polarizability. Once the polarizability of such a cluster is known, one can evaluate certain properties-e.g. the cluster's van der Waals interactions, using expressions derived for atoms or molecules. In the present work, we evaluate the static polarizability of a cluster using a microscopic method that is exact within the linear and dipolar approximations. Numerical examples are presented for various shapes and sizes of clusters composed of identical atoms, where the term "atom" actually refers to a generic constituent, which could be any polarizable entity. The results for the clusters' polarizabilities are compared with those obtained by assuming simple additivity of the constituents' atomic polarizabilities; in many cases, the difference is large, demonstrating the inadequacy of the additivity approximation. Comparison is made (for symmetrical geometries) with results obtained from continuum models of the polarizability. Also, the surface effects due to the nonuniform local field near a surface or edge are shown to be significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number053201
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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