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Optical Properties of Gold Nanoclusters Functionalized with a Small Organic Compound: Modeling by an Integrated Quantum-Classical Approach

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journal contribution
posted on 25.05.2016, 00:00 by Xin Li, Vincenzo Carravetta, Cui Li, Susanna Monti, Zilvinas Rinkevicius, Hans Ågren
Motivated by the growing importance of organometallic nanostructured materials and nanoparticles as microscopic devices for diagnostic and sensing applications, and by the recent considerable development in the simulation of such materials, we here choose a prototype system – para-nitroaniline (pNA) on gold nanoparticles – to demonstrate effective strategies for designing metal nanoparticles with organic conjugates from fundamental principles. We investigated the motion, adsorption mode, and physical chemistry properties of gold–pNA particles, increasing in size, through classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations in connection with quantum chemistry (QC) calculations. We apply the quantum mechanicscapacitance molecular mechanics method [Z. Rinkevicius et al. J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2014, 10, 989] for calculations of the properties of the conjugate nanoparticles, where time dependent density functional theory is used for the QM part and a capacitance–polarizability parametrization of the MM part, where induced dipoles and charges by metallic charge transfer are considered. Dispersion and short-range repulsion forces are included as well. The scheme is applied to one- and two-photon absorption of gold–pNA clusters increasing in size toward the nanometer scale. Charge imaging of the surface introduces red-shifts both because of altered excitation energy dependence and variation of the relative intensity of the inherent states making up for the total band profile. For the smaller nanoparticles the difference in the crystal facets are important for the spectral outcome which is also influenced by the surrounding MM environment.