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Journal Article

Modification of excitation and charge transfer in cavity quantum-electrodynamical chemistry

MPS-Authors
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Schäfer,  C.
Theory Group, Theory Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;
The Center for Free-Electron Laser Science;

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Ruggenthaler,  M.
Theory Group, Theory Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;
The Center for Free-Electron Laser Science;

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Appel,  H.
Theory Group, Theory Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;
The Center for Free-Electron Laser Science;

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Rubio,  A.
Theory Group, Theory Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;
The Center for Free-Electron Laser Science;

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Fulltext (public)

4883.full.pdf
(Publisher version), 2MB

Supplementary Material (public)

pnas.1814178116.sapp.pdf
(Supplementary material), 182KB

Citation

Schäfer, C., Ruggenthaler, M., Appel, H., & Rubio, A. (2019). Modification of excitation and charge transfer in cavity quantum-electrodynamical chemistry. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(11), 4883-4892. doi:10.1073/pnas.1814178116.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-AB84-8
Abstract
Energy transfer in terms of excitation or charge is one of the most basic processes in nature, and understanding and controlling them is one of the major challenges of modern quantum chemistry. In this work, we highlight that these processes as well as other chemical properties can be drastically altered by modifying the vacuum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field in a cavity. By using a real-space formulation from first principles that keeps all of the electronic degrees of freedom in the model explicit and simulates changes in the environment by an effective photon mode, we can easily connect to well-known quantum-chemical results such as Dexter charge-transfer and Förster excitation-transfer reactions, taking into account the often-disregarded Coulomb and self-polarization interaction. We find that the photonic degrees of freedom introduce extra electron–electron correlations over large distances and that the coupling to the cavity can drastically alter the characteristic charge-transfer behavior and even selectively improve the efficiency. For excitation transfer, we find that the cavity renders the transfer more efficient, essentially distance-independent, and further different configurations of highest efficiency depending on the coherence times. For strong decoherence (short coherence times), the cavity frequency should be in between the isolated excitations of the donor and acceptor, while for weak decoherence (long coherence times), the cavity should enhance a mode that is close to resonance with either donor or acceptor. Our results highlight that changing the photonic environment can redefine chemical processes, rendering polaritonic chemistry a promising approach toward the control of chemical reactions.