Modeling light-induced charge transfer dynamics across a metal-molecule-metal junction: Bridging classical electrodynamics and quantum dynamics

Zixuan Hu, Mark A. Ratner, Tamar Seideman

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We develop a numerical approach for simulating light-induced charge transport dynamics across a metal-molecule-metal conductance junction. The finite-difference time-domain method is used to simulate the plasmonic response of the metal structures. The Huygens subgridding technique, as adapted to Lorentz media, is used to bridge the vastly disparate length scales of the plasmonic metal electrodes and the molecular system, maintaining accuracy. The charge and current densities calculated with classical electrodynamics are transformed to an electronic wavefunction, which is then propagated through the molecular linker via the Heisenberg equations of motion. We focus mainly on development of the theory and exemplify our approach by a numerical illustration of a simple system consisting of two silver cylinders bridged by a three-site molecular linker. The electronic subsystem exhibits fascinating light driven dynamics, wherein the charge density oscillates at the driving optical frequency, exhibiting also the natural system timescales, and a resonance phenomenon leads to strong conductance enhancement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number224104
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Dec 14 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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