Light - Matter Interactions

Sequential and concerted C-C and C-O bond dissociation in the Coulomb explosion of 2-propanol
Bittner, D. ; Gope, K. ; Livshits, E. ; Baer, R. ; Strasser, D. Sequential and concerted C-C and C-O bond dissociation in the Coulomb explosion of 2-propanol. Journal of Chemical Physics 2022, 157, 074309. Publisher's Version
High frequency limit of spectroscopy
Nazarov, V. U. ; Baer, R. High frequency limit of spectroscopy. Journal of Chemical Physics 2022, 157, 084112.Abstract

We consider an arbitrary quantum mechanical system, initially in its ground-state, exposed to a time-dependent electromagnetic pulse with a carrier frequency ω0 and a slowly varying envelope of finite duration. By working out a solution to the time-dependent Schrödinger equation in the high-ω0 limit, we find that, to the leading order in ω−10, a perfect self-cancellation of the system’s linear response occurs as the pulse switches off. Surprisingly, the system’s observables are, nonetheless, describable in terms of a combination of its linear density response function and nonlinear functions of the electric field. An analysis of a jellium slab and jellium sphere models reveals a very high surface sensitivity of the considered setup, producing a richer excitation spectrum than accessible within the conventional linear response regime. On this basis, we propose a new spectroscopic technique, which we provisionally name the Nonlinear High-Frequency Pulsed Spectroscopy (NLHFPS). Combining the advantages of the extraordinary surface sensitivity, the absence of constraints by the traditional dipole selection rules, and the clarity of theoretical interpretation utilizing the linear response time-dependent density functional theory, NLHFPS has a potential to evolve into a powerful characterization method for nanoscience and nanotechnology

Two pathways and an isotope effect in H3+ formation following double ionization of methanol
Gope, K. ; Livshits, E. ; Bittner, D. M. ; Baer, R. ; Strasser, D. Two pathways and an isotope effect in H3+ formation following double ionization of methanol. Natural Sciences 2021, ntls.10022. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The trihydrogen ion has a central role in creating complex molecules in the interstellar medium. Therefore, its formation and destruction mechanisms in high photon energy environments involving organic molecules are drawing significant experimental and theoretical attention. Here, we employ a combination of time-resolved ultrafast extreme-ultraviolet pump and near-infrared probe spectroscopy applied to the deuterated CH3OD methanol molecule. Similar to other double-ionization studies, the isotopic labeling reveals two competing pathways for forming trihydrogen: A) H+3 + COH+ and B) H+3 + HCO+. We validate our high-level ab initio nonadiabatic molecular dynamic simulations by showing that it closely reproduces the essential features of the measured kinetic energy release distribution and branching ratios of the two pathways of the deuterated system. The success of ab initio simulation in describing single photon double-ionization allows for an unprecedented peek into the formation pathways for the undeuterated species, beyond present experimental reach. For this case, we find that the kinetic energy release of pathway B shifts to lower energies by more than 0.6 eV due to a dynamical isotope effect. We also determine the mechanism for trihydrogen formation from excited states of the dication and elucidate the isotope effect’s role in the observed dynamics.

Time-resolving the ultrafast H2 roaming chemistry and H3+ formation using extreme-ultraviolet pulses
Livshits, E. ; Luzon, I. ; Gope, K. ; Baer, R. ; Strasser, D. Time-resolving the ultrafast H2 roaming chemistry and H3+ formation using extreme-ultraviolet pulses. Communications Chemistry 2020, 3 49. Publisher's Version livshits2020time.pdf
Absence of Triplets in Single-Photon Double Ionization of Methanol
Gope, K. ; Livshits, E. ; Bittner, D. M. ; Baer, R. ; Strasser, D. Absence of Triplets in Single-Photon Double Ionization of Methanol. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 2020, 11, 8108–8113. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Despite the abundance of data concerning single-photon double ionization of methanol, the spin state of the emitted electron pair has never been determined. Here we present the first evidence that identifies the emitted electron pair spin as overwhelmingly singlet when the dication forms in low-energy configurations. The experimental data show that while the yield of the CH2O+ + H3+ Coulomb explosion channel is abundant, the metastable methanol dication is largely absent. According to high-level ab initio simulations, these facts indicate that photoionization promptly forms singlet dication states, where they quickly decompose through various channels, with significant H3+ yields on the low-lying states. In contrast, if we assume that the initial dication is formed in one of the low-lying triplet states, the ab initio simulations exhibit a metastable dication, contradicting the experimental findings. Comparing the average simulated branching ratios with the experimental data suggests a \textgreater3 order of magnitude enhancement of the singlet:triplet ratio compared with their respective 1:3 multiplicities.

Linear-Response Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory with Stochastic Range-Separated Hybrids
Zhang, X. ; Lu, G. ; Baer, R. ; Rabani, E. ; Neuhauser, D. Linear-Response Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory with Stochastic Range-Separated Hybrids. Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation 2020, 16, 1064–1072. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Generalized Kohn−Sham density functional theory is a popular computational tool for the ground state of extended systems, particularly within range-separated hybrid (RSH) functionals that capture the long-range electronic interaction. Unfortunately, the heavy computational cost of the nonlocal exchange operator in RSH-DFT usually confines the approach to systems with at most a few hundred electrons. A significant reduction in the computational cost is achieved by representing the density matrix with stochastic orbitals and a stochastic decomposition of the Coulomb convolution (J. Phys. Chem. A 2016, 120, 3071). Here, we extend the stochastic RSH approach to excited states within the framework of linear-response generalized Kohn−Sham time-dependent density functional theory (GKS-TDDFT) based on the plane-wave basis. As a validation of the stochastic GKS-TDDFT method, the excitation energies of small molecules N2 and CO are calculated and compared to the deterministic results. The computational efficiency of the stochastic method is demonstrated with a two-dimensional MoS2 sheet (∼1500 electrons), whose excitation energy, exciton charge density, and (excited state) geometric relaxation are determined in the absence and presence of a point defect.

Stochastic Resolution of Identity for Real-Time Second-Order Green’s Function: Ionization Potential and Quasi-Particle Spectrum
Dou, W. ; Takeshita, T. Y. ; Chen, M. ; Baer, R. ; Neuhauser, D. ; Rabani, E. Stochastic Resolution of Identity for Real-Time Second-Order Green’s Function: Ionization Potential and Quasi-Particle Spectrum. Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation 2019. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We develop a stochastic resolution of identity approach to the real-time second-order Green’s function (real-time sRI-GF2) theory, extending our recent work for imaginary-time Matsubara Green’s function [Takeshita et al. J. Chem. Phys. 2019, 151, 044114]. The approach provides a framework to obtain the quasi-particle spectra across a wide range of frequencies and predicts ionization potentials and electron affinities. To assess the accuracy of the real-time sRI-GF2, we study a series of molecules and compare our results to experiments as well as to a many-body perturbation approach based on the GW approximation, where we find that the real-time sRI-GF2 is as accurate as self-consistent GW. The stochastic formulation reduces the formal computatinal scaling from O(Ne5) down to O(Ne3) where Ne is the number of electrons. This is illustrated for a chain of hydrogen dimers, where we observe a slightly lower than cubic scaling for systems containing up to Ne ≈ 1000 electrons.

Transition to metallization in warm dense helium-hydrogen mixtures using stochastic density functional theory within the Kubo-Greenwood formalism
Cytter, Y. ; Rabani, E. ; Neuhauser, D. ; Preising, M. ; Redmer, R. ; Baer, R. Transition to metallization in warm dense helium-hydrogen mixtures using stochastic density functional theory within the Kubo-Greenwood formalism. Physical Review B 2019, 100. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Abstract The Kubo-Greenwood (KG) formula is often used in conjunction with Kohn-Sham (KS) density functional theory (DFT) to compute the optical conductivity, particularly for warm dense mater. For applying the KG formula, all KS eigenstates and eigenvalues up to an energy cutoff are required and thus the approach becomes expensive, especially for high temperatures and large systems, scaling cubically with both system size and temperature. Here, we develop an approach to calculate the KS conductivity within the stochastic DFT (sDFT) framework, which requires knowledge only of the KS Hamiltonian but not its eigenstates and values. We show that the computational effort associated with the method scales linearly with system size and reduces in proportion to the temperature unlike the cubic increase with traditional deterministic approaches. In addition, we find that the method allows an accurate description of the entire spectrum, including the high-frequency range, unlike the deterministic method which is compelled to introduce a high-frequency cut-off due to memory and computational time constraints. We apply the method to helium-hydrogen mixtures in the warm dense matter regime at temperatures of \textbackslashsim60\textbackslashtext\kK\ and find that the system displays two conductivity phases, where a transition from non-metal to metal occurs when hydrogen atoms constitute \textbackslashsim0.3 of the total atoms in the system.

Spin Blockades to Relaxation of Hot Multiexcitons in Nanocrystals
Ghosh, T. ; Dehnel, J. ; Fabian, M. ; Lifshitz, E. ; Baer, R. ; Ruhman, S. Spin Blockades to Relaxation of Hot Multiexcitons in Nanocrystals. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2019, 10, 2341–2348. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The conjecture that, as in bulk semiconductors, hot multiexcitons in nanocrystals cool rapidly to the lowest available energy levels is tested here by recording the effects of a single cold “spectator” exciton on the relaxation dynamics of a subsequently deposited hot counterpart. Results in CdSe/CdS nanodots show that a preexisting cold “spectator exciton” allows only half of the photoexcited electrons to relax directly to the band-edge. The rest are blocked in an excited quantum state due to conflicts in spin orientation. The latter fully relax in this sample only after ∼25 ps as the blocked electrons spins flip, prolonging the temporal window of opportunity for harvesting the retained energy more than 100 fold! Common to all quantum-confined nanocrystals, this process will delay cooling and impact the spectroscopic signatures of hot multiexcitons in all envisioned generation scenarios. How the spin-flipping rate scales with particle size and temperature remains to be determined.

Making Sense of Coulomb Explosion Imaging
Luzon, I. ; Livshits, E. ; Gope, K. ; Baer, R. ; Strasser, D. Making Sense of Coulomb Explosion Imaging. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2019, 10, 1361–1367. Publisher's VersionAbstract

A multifaceted agreement between ab initio theoretical predictions and experimental measurements, including branching ratios, channel-specific kinetic energy release, and three-body momentum correlation spectra, leads to the identification of new mechanisms in Coulomb-explosion (CE) induced two- and three-body breakup processes in methanol. These identified mechanisms include direct nonadiabatic Coulomb explosion responsible for CO bond-breaking, a long-range “ inverse harpooning” dominating the production of H2+ + HCOH+, a transient proton migration leading to surprising energy partitioning in three-body fragmentation and other complex dynamics forming products such as H2O+ and H3+. These mechanisms provide general concepts that should be useful for analyzing future time-resolved Coulomb explosion imaging of methanol as well as other molecular systems. These advances are enabled by a combination of recently developed experimental and computational techniques, using weak ultrafast EUV pulses to initiate the CE and a high-level quantum chemistry approach to follow the resulting field-free nonadiabatic molecular dynamics.

First-principles spectra of Au nanoparticles: from quantum to classical absorption
Hernandez, S. ; Xia, Y. ; Vlček, V. ; Boutelle, R. ; Baer, R. ; Rabani, E. ; Neuhauser, D. First-principles spectra of Au nanoparticles: from quantum to classical absorption. Molecular Physics 2018, 116, 2506–2511. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Absorption cross-section spectra for gold nanoparticles were calculated using fully quantum Stochastic Density Functional Theory and a classical Finite-Difference Time Domain Maxwell solver. Spectral shifts were monitored as a function of size (1.3–) and shape (octahedron, cubeoctahedron and truncated cube). Even though the classical approach is forced to fit the quantum time-dependent density functional theory at , at smaller sizes there is a significant deviation as the classical theory is unable to account for peak splitting and spectral blueshifts even after quantum spectral corrections. We attribute the failure of classical methods at predicting these features to quantum effects and low density of states in small nanoparticles. Classically, plasmon resonances are modelled as collective conduction electron excitations, but at small nanoparticle size these excitations transition to few or even individual conductive electron excitations, as indicated by our results.

Luzon, I. ; Jagtap, K. ; Livshits, E. ; Lioubashevski, O. ; Baer, R. ; Strasser, D. Single-photon Coulomb explosion of methanol using broad bandwidth ultrafast EUV pulses. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2017, 19, 13488–13495.Abstract

Single-photon Coulomb explosion of methanol is instigated using the broad bandwidth pulse achieved through high-order harmonics generation. Using 3D coincidence fragment imaging of one molecule at a time, the kinetic energy release (KER) and angular distributions of the products are measured in different Coulomb explosion (CE) channels. Two-body CE channels breaking either the C–O or the C–H bonds are described as well as a proton migration channel forming H2O+, which is shown to exhibit higher KER. The results are compared to intense-field Coulomb explosion measurements in the literature. The interpretation of broad bandwidth single-photon CE data is discussed and supported by ab initio calculations of the predominant C–O bond breaking CE channel. We discuss the importance of these findings for achieving time resolved imaging of ultrafast dynamics.

Eshet, H. ; Baer, R. ; Neuhauser, D. ; Rabani, E. Theory of highly efficient multiexciton generation in type-II nanorods. Nat. Commun. 2016, 7.Abstract

Multiexciton generation, by which more than a single electron–hole pair is generated on optical excitation, is a promising paradigm for pushing the efficiency of solar cells beyond the Shockley–Queisser limit of 31%. Utilizing this paradigm, however, requires the onset energy of multiexciton generation to be close to twice the band gap energy and the efficiency to increase rapidly above this onset. This challenge remains unattainable even using confined nanocrystals, nanorods or nanowires. Here, we show how both goals can be achieved in a nanorod heterostructure with type-II band offsets. Using pseudopotential atomistic calculation on a model type-II semiconductor heterostructure we predict the optimal conditions for controlling multiexciton generation efficiencies at twice the band gap energy. For a finite band offset, this requires a sharp interface along with a reduction of the exciton cooling and may enable a route for breaking the Shockley–Queisser limit.

Baratz, A. ; White, A. J. ; Galperin, M. ; Baer, R. Effects of Electromagnetic Coupling on Conductance Switching of a Gated Tunnel Junction. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 2014, 5 3545–3550.Abstract

Using a combination of density functional theory and quantum master equations approach, we study the effect of electromagnetic (EM) coupling on the nonequilibrium steady-state behavior of a recently introduced gated molecular junction. This junction was demonstrated in a previous publication to exhibit sharp current switching near a certain critical DC field Ez*, which induces intramolecular charge transfer, and here, we analyze the steady-state population and current when an AC EM field (EMF) is present. The AC EMF at frequency $ømega_0$ produces pronounced population and current features at gate fields Ez = Ez* ± $\hbar ømega_0/ez$ (where $e_z$ is the dipole of the charge-transfer state) and thus allows additional sharp switching capability at lower gate fields. We found that even when EMF is absent, the EM coupling itself changes the overall steady-state population and current distributions because it allows for relaxation via spontaneous emission

Baer, R. ; Rabani, E. Communication: Biexciton generation rates in CdSe nanorods are length independent. J. Chem. Phys. 2013, 138, 051102–4.Abstract

We study how shape affects multiexciton generation rates in a semiconducting nanocrystal by considering CdSe nanorods with varying diameters and aspect ratios. The calculations employ an atomistic semiempirical pseudopotential model combined with an efficacious stochastic approach applied to systems containing up to 20 000 atoms. The effect of nanorod diameter and aspect ratio on multiexciton generation rates is analyzed in terms of the scaling of the density of trion states and the scaling of the Coulomb couplings. Both show distinct scaling from spherical nanocrystals leading to a surprising result where the multiexciton generation rates are roughly independent of the nanorod length.

Jain, P. K. ; Ghosh, D. ; Baer, R. ; Rabani, E. ; Alivisatos, A. P. Near-field manipulation of spectroscopic selection rules on the nanoscale. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2012, 109, 8016–8019.Abstract

In conventional spectroscopy, transitions between electronic levels are governed by the electric dipole selection rule because electric quadrupole, magnetic dipole, and coupled electric dipole-magnetic dipole transitions are forbidden in a far field. We demonstrated that by using nanostructured electromagnetic fields, the selection rules of absorption spectroscopy could be fundamentally manipulated. We also show that forbidden transitions between discrete quantum levels in a semiconductor nanorod structure are allowed within the near-field of a noble metal nanoparticle. Atomistic simulations analyzed by an effective mass model reveal the breakdown of the dipolar selection rules where quadrupole and octupole transitions are allowed. Our demonstration could be generalized to the use of nanostructured near-fields for enhancing light-matter interactions that are typically weak or forbidden.

Karolewski, A. ; Stein, T. ; Baer, R. ; Kümmel, S. Communication: Tailoring the optical gap in light-harvesting molecules. J. Chem. Phys. 2011, 134, 151101.Abstract

Systematically varying the optical gap that is associated with charge-transfer excitations is an important step in the design of light-harvesting molecules. So far the guidance that time-dependent density functional theory could give in this process was limited by the traditional functionals' inability to describe charge-transfer excitations. We show that a nonempirical range-separated hybrid approach allows to reliably predict charge-transfer excitations for molecules of practically relevant complexity. Calculated absorption energies agree with measured ones. We predict from theory that by varying the number of thiophenes in donor-acceptor-donor molecules, the energy of the lowest optical absorption can be tuned to the lower end of the visible spectrum. Saturation sets in at about five thiophene rings. (C) 2011 American Institute of Physics. [doi:10.1063/1.3581788]

Paul, A. K. ; Adhikari, S. ; Baer, M. ; Baer, R. H2 + photodissociation by an intense pulsed photonic Fock state. Phys. Rev. A 2010, 81, 013412.Abstract

We study the photodissociation of the H+2 molecule by ultrashort Fock-state electromagnetic pulses (EMPs). We use the Born-Oppenheimer treatment combined with an explicit photon number representation via diabatic electrophoton potential surfaces for simplification of the basic equations. We discuss the issue of the number of photon states required and show that six photon states enable good accuracy for photoproduct kinetic energies of up to 3 eV. We calculate photodissociation probabilities and nuclear kinetic-energy (KE) distributions of the photodissociation products for 800 nm, 50-TW/cm2 pulses. We show that KE distributions depend on three pulse durations of 10, 20, and 45 fs and on various initial vibrational states of the molecule. We compare the Fock-state results to those obtained by “conventional,” i.e., coherent-state, laser pulses of equivalent electric fields and durations. The effects of the quantum state of EMPs on the photodissociation dynamics are especially strong for high initial vibrational states of H+2. While coherent-state pulses suppress photodissociation for the high initial vibrational states of H+2, the Fock-state pulses enhance it.

Rabani, E. ; Baer, R. Theory of multiexciton generation in semiconductor nanocrystals. Chem. Phys. Lett. 2010, 496, 227–235.Abstract

We develop a generalized framework based on a Green’s function formalism to calculate the efficiency of multiexciton generation in nanocrystal quantum dots. The direct/indirect absorption and coherent/incoherent impact ionization mechanisms, often used to describe multiexciton generation in nanocrystals, are reviewed and rederived from the unified theory as certain approximations. In addition, two new limits are described systematically – the weak Coulomb coupling limit and the semi-wide band limit. We show that the description of multiexciton generation in nanocrystals can be described as incoherent process and we discuss the scaling of multiexciton generation with respect to the photon energy and nanocrystal size. Illustrations are given for three prototype systems: CdSe, InAs and silicon quantum dots.

Baer, R. ; Livshits, E. ; Salzner, U. Tuned Range-separated hybrids in density functional theory. Annu. Rev. Phys. Chem. 2010, 61, 85–109. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We review density functional theory (DFT) within the Kohn-Sham (KS) and the generalized KS (GKS) frameworks from a theoretical perspective for both time-independent and time-dependent problems. We focus on the use of range-separated hybrids within a GKS approach as a practical remedy for dealing with the deleterious long-range self-repulsion plaguing many approximate implementations of DFT. This technique enables DFT to be widely relevant in new realms such as charge transfer, radical cation dimers, and Rydberg excitations. Emphasis is put on a new concept of system-specific range-parameter tuning, which introduces predictive power in applications considered until recently too difficult for DFT.