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Concept: Electron configuration


The phenylazomethine dendrimer (DPA) has a layer-by-layer electron density gradient that is an analog of the Bohr atom (atom mimicry). In combination with electron pair mimicry, the polymerization of this atom-mimicking dendrimer was achieved. The valency of the mimicked atom was controlled by changing the chemical structure of the dendrimer. By mimicking a divalent atom, a one-dimensional (1D) polymer was obtained, and by using a planar tetravalent atom mimic, a 2D polymer was obtained. These poly(dendrimer) polymers could store Lewis acids (SnCl2) in their unoccupied orbitals, thus indicating that these poly(dendrimer) polymers consist of a series of nanocontainers.

Concepts: Electron, Fundamental physics concepts, Hydrogen, Hydrogen atom, Electron configuration, Niels Bohr, Bohr model, Henry Moseley


Semi-squaraines (SMSQ) are known as donor-acceptor (D-A) type molecules whereas squaraines (SQ), which differs from SMSQ by an extra donor group, are more or less biradicaloids in nature. The effect of the additional donor group in SQ, which changes the nature of the molecule, on geometrical and electronic structure are studied here and compared with the corresponding SMSQ. It is noticed from the geometrical parameters that, a strong resonance exists in SQ whereas disparity in carbon-carbon bond lengths of central C(4) ring is seen in SMSQ dyes. The increasing and decreasing of antibonding interactions between central C(4) ring and side donor groups cause destabilization of HOMO and stabilization of LUMO respectively in case of SQ compared to SMSQ molecules. This leads to decreasing the HOMO-LUMO gap and promotes biradicaloid character of SQ. The absorption maxima obtained by using TD-DFT method with BLYP, B3LYP, BHandHLYP, CAM-B3LYP and M06-2X functionals are not in good agreement with experimental results. On the other hand SAC-CI method gives better results for all the molecules. From this work we can evolve a design principle of these molecules which play a role as sensitizers in dye sensitized solar cells.

Concepts: Molecule, Atom, Group, Solar cell, Molecular orbital, Electron configuration, HOMO/LUMO, Bond length


In mixed-valent Kondo lattice systems, such as YbAl3, interactions between localized and delocalized electrons can lead to fluctuations between two different valence configurations with changing temperature or pressure. The impact of this change on the momentum-space electronic structure is essential for understanding their emergent properties, but has remained enigmatic. Here, by employing a combination of molecular beam epitaxy and in situ angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy we show that valence fluctuations can lead to dramatic changes in the Fermi surface topology, even resulting in a Lifshitz transition. As the temperature is lowered, a small electron pocket in YbAl3 becomes completely unoccupied while the low-energy ytterbium (Yb) 4f states become increasingly itinerant, acquiring additional spectral weight, longer lifetimes, and well-defined dispersions. Our work presents a unified picture of how local valence fluctuations connect to momentum-space concepts such as band filling and Fermi surface topology in mixed valence systems.How the electronic structure of a mixed-valence system changes with respect to local chemical environment remains elusive. Here, Chatterjee et al. show that valence fluctuations of YbAl3 can lead to dramatic changes in the Fermi surface topology in reciprocal space.

Concepts: Electron, Spectroscopy, Molecule, Change, Molecular beam epitaxy, Electronic band structure, Electron configuration, ARPES


We investigate the Rabi oscillations of electrons excited by an applied electric field in several simple molecular systems using time-dependent configuration interaction (TDCI) and real-time time-dependent density-functional theory (RT-TDDFT) dynamics. While the TDCI simulations exhibit the expected single-electron Rabi oscillations at a single resonant electric field frequency, Rabi oscillations in the RT-TDDFT simulations are a two-electron process. The existence of two-electron Rabi oscillations is determined both by full population inversion between field-free molecular orbitals and the behavior of the instantaneous dipole moment during the simulations. Furthermore, the Rabi oscillations in RT-TDDFT are subject to an intensity threshold of the electric field, below which Rabi oscillations do not occur and above which the two-electron Rabi oscillations occur at a broad range of frequencies. It is also shown that at field intensities near the threshold intensity, the field frequency predicted to induce Rabi oscillations by linear response TDDFT only produces detuned Rabi oscillations. Instead, the field frequency that yields the full two-electron population inversion and Rabi oscillation behavior is shown to be the average of single-electron transition frequencies from the ground S0 state and the doubly-excited S2 state. The behavior of the two-electron Rabi oscillations is rationalized via two possible models. The first model is a multi-photon process that results from the electric field interacting with the three level system such that three level Rabi oscillations may occur. The second model suggests that the mean-field nature of RT-TDDFT induces paired electron propagation.

Concepts: Electron, Magnetic field, Fundamental physics concepts, Wave, Sound, Electron configuration, Rabi cycle


The ability to convert photons of different wavelengths directly into mechanical motion is of significant interest in many energy conversion and reconfigurable technologies. Here, using few layer 2H-MoS2 nanosheets, layer by layer process of nanocomposite fabrication, and strain engineering, we demonstrate a reversible and chromatic mechanical response in MoS2-nanocomposites between 405 nm to 808 nm with large stress release. The chromatic mechanical response originates from the d orbitals and is related to the strength of the direct exciton resonance A and B of the few layer 2H-MoS2 affecting optical absorption and subsequent mechanical response of the nanocomposite. Applying uniaxial tensile strains to the semiconducting few-layer 2H-MoS2 crystals in the nanocomposite resulted in spatially varying energy levels inside the nanocomposite that enhanced the broadband optical absorption up to 2.3 eV and subsequent mechanical response. The unique photomechanical response in 2H-MoS2 based nanocomposites is a result of the rich d electron physics not available to nanocomposites based on sp bonded graphene and carbon nanotubes, as well as nanocomposite based on metallic nanoparticles. The reversible strain dependent optical absorption suggest applications in broad range of energy conversion technologies that is not achievable using conventional thin film semiconductors.

Concepts: Photon, Optics, Physics, Light, Electromagnetic radiation, Carbon, Semiconductor, Electron configuration


Bose condensation has shaped our understanding of macroscopic quantum phenomena, having been realized in superconductors, atomic gases, and liquid helium. Excitons are bosons that have been predicted to condense into either a superfluid or an insulating electronic crystal. Using the recently developed technique of momentum-resolved electron energy-loss spectroscopy (M-EELS), we studied electronic collective modes in the transition metal dichalcogenide semimetal 1T-TiSe2 Near the phase-transition temperature (190 kelvin), the energy of the electronic mode fell to zero at nonzero momentum, indicating dynamical slowing of plasma fluctuations and crystallization of the valence electrons into an exciton condensate. Our study provides compelling evidence for exciton condensation in a three-dimensional solid and establishes M-EELS as a versatile technique sensitive to valence band excitations in quantum materials.

Concepts: Electron, Photon, Fundamental physics concepts, Condensed matter physics, Atom, Temperature, Electron configuration, Bose–Einstein condensate


Electron-donors can impart charge to the surface of transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) films while interacting with the film via a weak physisorption bond, making them ideal for vapor and gas sensors. We expose monolayer MoS2 and MoSe2 films to strong electron-donor chemical vapor analytes. After analyzing the resultant behavior and taking into consideration doping effects, we conclude that exposure to strong electron-donors could be a method of inducing the semiconductor-metal 2H-1T TMD phase transition. We find that the conductance response to strong electron donors in both monolayer MoS2 and MoSe2 FET devices ceases after moderate exposure, with final value of the conductance being on order of that expected for the 1T phase. Full device relaxation back to a semiconducting state is accomplished by annealing in vacuum at 400 °C. We also examine chemically exposed TMD films intermittently interrogated with Raman and photoluminescence spectroscopy. We observe the appearance of weak characteristic 1T phase Raman features for MoS2 and we observed a quenching of the photoluminescence of both TMD films that is recoverable with annealing. Considering all of our data together, the effects cannot be described by doping alone. Additionally, our results suggest a mechanism for a new type of passive chemical vapor sensor.

Concepts: Scientific method, Spectroscopy, Iron, Fundamental physics concepts, Molecule, Molybdenum, Silver, Electron configuration


We previously demonstrated that we can image electronic excitations of quantum dots by single-molecule absorption scanning tunneling microscopy (SMA-STM). With this technique, a modulated laser beam periodically saturates an electronic transition of a single nanoparticle, and the resulting tunneling current modulation ΔI(x0, y0) maps out the SMA-STM image. In this paper, we first derive the basic theory to calculate ΔI(x0, y0) in the one-electron approximation. For near-resonant tunneling through an empty orbital “i” of the nanostructure, the SMA-STM signal is approximately proportional to the electron density φix0,y02of the excited orbital in the tunneling region. Thus, the SMA-STM signal is approximated by an orbital density map (ODM) of the resonantly excited orbital at energy Ei. The situation is more complex for correlated electron motion, but either way a slice through the excited electronic state structure in the tunneling region is imaged. We then show experimentally that we can nudge quantum dots on the surface and roll them, thus imaging excited state electronic structure of a single quantum dot at different orientations. We use density functional theory to model ODMs at various orientations, for qualitative comparison with the SMA-STM experiment. The model demonstrates that our experimentally observed signal monitors excited states, localized by defects near the surface of an individual quantum dot. The sub-nanometer super-resolution imaging technique demonstrated here could become useful for mapping out the three-dimensional structure of excited states localized by defects within nanomaterials.

Concepts: Electron, Quantum mechanics, Atom, Nanomaterials, Quantum chemistry, Electron configuration, Atomic orbital, Energy level


Epitaxial attachment of quantum dots into ordered superlattices enables the synthesis of quasi-two-dimensional materials that theoretically exhibit features such as Dirac cones and topological states, and have major potential for unprecedented optoelectronic devices. Initial studies found that disorder in these structures causes localization of electrons within a few lattice constants, and highlight the critical need for precise structural characterization and systematic assessment of the effects of disorder on transport. Here we fabricated superlattices with the quantum dots registered to within a single atomic bond length (limited by the polydispersity of the quantum dot building blocks), but missing a fraction (20%) of the epitaxial connections. Calculations of the electronic structure including the measured disorder account for the electron localization inferred from transport measurements. The calculations also show that improvement of the epitaxial connections will lead to completely delocalized electrons and may enable the observation of the remarkable properties predicted for these materials.

Concepts: Electron, Electric charge, Quantum mechanics, Atom, Chemical bond, Quantum electrodynamics, Electron configuration, Pauli exclusion principle


The chemical properties of an element are primarily governed by the configuration of electrons in the valence shell. Relativistic effects influence the electronic structure of heavy elements in the sixth row of the periodic table, and these effects increase dramatically in the seventh row–including the actinides–even affecting ground-state configurations. Atomic s and p1/2 orbitals are stabilized by relativistic effects, whereas p3/2, d and f orbitals are destabilized, so that ground-state configurations of heavy elements may differ from those of lighter elements in the same group. The first ionization potential (IP1) is a measure of the energy required to remove one valence electron from a neutral atom, and is an atomic property that reflects the outermost electronic configuration. Precise and accurate experimental determination of IP1 gives information on the binding energy of valence electrons, and also, therefore, on the degree of relativistic stabilization. However, such measurements are hampered by the difficulty in obtaining the heaviest elements on scales of more than one atom at a time. Here we report that the experimentally obtained IP1 of the heaviest actinide, lawrencium (Lr, atomic number 103), is 4.96(+0.08)(-0.07) electronvolts. The IP1 of Lr was measured with (256)Lr (half-life 27 seconds) using an efficient surface ion-source and a radioisotope detection system coupled to a mass separator. The measured IP1 is in excellent agreement with the value of 4.963(15) electronvolts predicted here by state-of-the-art relativistic calculations. The present work provides a reliable benchmark for theoretical calculations and also opens the way for IP1 measurements of superheavy elements (that is, transactinides) on an atom-at-a-time scale.

Concepts: Chemistry, Atom, Valence electron, Periodic table, Transition metal, Atomic number, Electron configuration, Electron shell