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Annual Review of Physical Chemistry

Guo P Chen, Vamsee K Voora, Matthew M Agee, Sreeganesh Balasubramani, Filipp Furche
Random-phase approximation (RPA) methods are rapidly emerging as costeffective validation tools for semilocal density functional computations. We present the theoretical background of RPA in an intuitive rather than formal fashion, focusing on the physical picture of screening and simple diagrammatic analysis. A new decomposition of the RPA correlation energy into plasmonic modes leads to an appealing visualization of electron correlation in terms of charge density fluctuations. Recent developments in the areas of beyond-RPA methods, RPA correlation potentials, and efficient algorithms for RPA energy and property calculations are reviewed...
March 16, 2017: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Phillip Christopher, Martin Moskovits
Surface plasmons have recently been harnessed to carry out processes such as photovoltaic current generation, redox photochemistry, photocatalysis, and photodetection, all of which are enabled by separating energetic (hot) electrons and holes-processes that, previously, were the domain of semiconductor junctions. Currently, the power conversion efficiencies of systems using plasmon excitation are low. However, the very large electron/hole per photon quantum efficiencies observed for plasmonic devices fan the hope of future improvements through a deeper understanding of the processes involved and through better device engineering, especially of critical interfaces such as those between metallic and semiconducting nanophases (or adsorbed molecules)...
March 16, 2017: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Tatsuya Ishiyama, Akihiro Morita
Vibrational sum frequency generation (VSFG) spectroscopy is a widely used probe of interfaces and, having ideal surface sensitivity and selectivity, is particularly powerful when applied to wet and soft interfaces. Although VSFG spectroscopy can sensitively detect molecular details of interfaces, interpretation of observed spectra has, until recently, been challenging and often ambiguous. The situation has been greatly improved by remarkable advances in computational VSFG analysis on the basis of molecular modeling and molecular dynamics simulation...
March 16, 2017: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
David L Osborn
Chemical reactions occurring on a potential energy surface with multiple wells are ubiquitous in low-temperature combustion and in the oxidation of volatile organic compounds in Earth's atmosphere. The rich variety of structural isomerizations that compete with collisional stabilization makes characterizing such complex-forming reactions challenging. This review describes recent experimental and theoretical advances that deliver increasingly complete views of their reaction mechanisms. New methods for creating reactive intermediates coupled with multiplexed measurements provide many experimental observables simultaneously...
March 15, 2017: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Stefan Ilic, Marija R Zoric, Usha Pandey Kadel, Yunjing Huang, Ksenija D Glusac
Metal-free motifs, such as graphitic carbon nitride, conjugated polymers, and doped nanostructures, are emerging as a new class of Earth-abundant materials for solar fuel devices. Although these metal-free structures show great potential, detailed mechanistic understanding of their performance remains limited. Here, we review important experimental and theoretical findings relevant to the role of metal-free motifs as either photoelectrodes or electrocatalysts. First, the light-harvesting characteristics of metal-free photoelectrodes (band energetics, exciton binding energies, charge carrier mobilities and lifetimes) are discussed and contrasted with those in traditional inorganic semiconductors (such as Si)...
March 15, 2017: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Mary Jane Shultz
Ice is a fundamental solid with important environmental, biological, geological, and extraterrestrial impact. The stable form of ice at atmospheric pressure is hexagonal ice, Ih Despite its prevalence, Ih remains an enigmatic solid, in part due to challenges in preparing samples for fundamental studies. Surfaces of ice present even greater challenges. Recently developed methods for preparation of large single-crystal samples make it possible to reproducibly prepare any chosen face to address numerous fundamental questions...
March 15, 2017: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Elnaz Alipour, Duncan Halverson, Samantha McWhirter, Gilbert C Walker
Nanoparticles are widely studied for their potential medical uses in diagnostics and therapeutics. The interface between a nanoparticle and its target has been a focus of research, both to guide the nanoparticle and to prevent it from deactivating. Given nature's frequent use of phospholipid vesicles as carriers, much attention has been paid to phospholipids as a vehicle for drug delivery. The physical chemistry of bilayer formation and nanoparticle encapsulation is complex, touching on fundamental properties of hydrophobicity...
March 15, 2017: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Neil Qiang Su, Xin Xu
Kohn-Sham density functional theory has become the leading electronic structure method for atoms, molecules, and extended systems. It is in principle exact, but any practical application must rely on density functional approximations (DFAs) for the exchange-correlation energy. Here we emphasize four aspects of the subject: (a) philosophies and strategies for developing DFAs; (b) classification of DFAs; (c) major sources of error in existing DFAs; and (d) some recent developments and future directions. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Physical Chemistry Volume 68 is April 20, 2017...
February 22, 2017: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Miao Zhang, Heinz Frei
Water oxidation is an essential reaction of an artificial photosystem for solar fuel generation because it provides electrons needed to reduce carbon dioxide or protons to a fuel. Earth-abundant metal oxides are among the most attractive catalytic materials for this reaction because of their robustness and scalability, but their efficiency poses a challenge. Knowledge of catalytic surface intermediates gained by vibrational spectroscopy under reaction conditions plays a key role in uncovering kinetic bottlenecks and provides a basis for catalyst design improvements...
February 22, 2017: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Song-Ho Chong, Prathit Chatterjee, Sihyun Ham
The investigation of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) is a new frontier in structural and molecular biology that requires a new paradigm to connect structural disorder to function. Molecular dynamics simulations and statistical thermodynamics potentially offer ideal tools for atomic-level characterizations and thermodynamic descriptions of this fascinating class of proteins that will complement experimental studies. However, IDPs display sensitivity to inaccuracies in the underlying molecular mechanics force fields...
February 6, 2017: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
David J Vinyard, Gary W Brudvig
The active site of photosynthetic water oxidation is the oxygen-evolving complex (OEC) in the photosystem II (PSII) reaction center. The OEC is a Mn4CaO5 cluster embedded in the PSII protein matrix, and it cycles through redox intermediates known as Si states (i = 0-4). Significant progress has been made in understanding the inorganic and physical chemistry of states S0-S3 through experiment and theory. The chemical steps from S3 to S0 are more poorly understood, however, because the identity of the substrate water molecules and the mechanism of O-O bond formation are not well established...
February 2, 2017: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Ankun Yang, Danqing Wang, Weijia Wang, Teri W Odom
This review focuses on coherent light sources at the nanoscale, and specifically on lasers exploiting plasmonic cavities that can beat the diffraction limit of light. Conventional lasers exhibit coherent, intense, and directional emission with cavity sizes much larger than their operating wavelength. Plasmon lasers show ultrasmall mode confinement, support strong light-matter interactions, and represent a class of devices with extremely small sizes. We discuss the differences between plasmon lasers and traditional ones, and we highlight advances in directionality and tunability through innovative cavity designs and new materials...
January 30, 2017: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Michael N R Ashfold, Daniel Murdock, Thomas A A Oliver
Exciting a molecule with an ultraviolet photon often leads to bond fission, but the final outcome of the bond cleavage is typically both molecule and phase dependent. The photodissociation of an isolated gas-phase molecule can be viewed as a closed system: Energy and momentum are conserved, and the fragmentation is irreversible. The same is not true in a solutionphase photodissociation process. Solvent interactions may dissipate some of the photoexcitation energy prior to bond fission and will dissipate any excess energy partitioned into the dissociation products...
January 30, 2017: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Helen Chadwick, Rainer D Beck
Chemical reactions at the gas-surface interface are ubiquitous in the chemical industry as well as in nature. Investigating these processes at a microscopic, quantum state-resolved level helps develop a predictive understanding of this important class of reactions. In this review, we present an overview of the field of quantum state-resolved gas-surface reactivity measurements that explore the role of the initial quantum state on the dissociative chemisorption of a gas-phase reactant incident on a solid surface...
January 11, 2017: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Hong-Gang Liao, Haimei Zheng
Liquid cell transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has attracted significant interest in recent years. With nanofabricated liquid cells, it has been possible to image through liquids using TEM with subnanometer resolution, and many previously unseen materials dynamics have been revealed. Liquid cell TEM has been applied to many areas of research, ranging from chemistry to physics, materials science, and biology. So far, topics of study include nanoparticle growth and assembly, electrochemical deposition and lithiation for batteries, tracking and manipulation of nanoparticles, catalysis, and imaging of biological materials...
May 27, 2016: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Jong-In Hahm
Recent bioapplications of one-dimensional (1D) zinc oxide (ZnO) nanomaterials, despite the short development period, have shown promising signs as new sensors and assay platforms offering exquisite biomolecular sensitivity and selectivity. The incorporation of 1D ZnO nanomaterials has proven beneficial to various modes of biodetection owing to their inherent properties. The more widely explored electrochemical and electrical approaches tend to capitalize on the reduced physical dimensionality, yielding a high surface-to-volume ratio, as well as on the electrical properties of ZnO...
May 27, 2016: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Dor Ben-Amotz
Hydrophobic interactions are driven by the combined influence of the direct attraction between oily solutes and an additional water-mediated interaction whose magnitude (and sign) depends sensitively on both solute size and attraction. The resulting delicate balance can lead to a slightly repulsive water-mediated interaction that drives oily molecules apart rather than pushing them together and thus opposes their direct (van der Waals) attraction for each other. As a consequence, competing solute size-dependent crossovers weaken hydrophobic interactions sufficiently that they are only expected to significantly exceed random thermal energy fluctuations for processes that bury more than ∼1 nm(2) of water-exposed area...
May 27, 2016: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Sergio Dominguez-Medina, Sishan Chen, Jan Blankenburg, Pattanawit Swanglap, Christy F Landes, Stephan Link
Fluctuation correlation spectroscopy (FCS) is a well-established analytical technique traditionally used to monitor molecular diffusion in dilute solutions, the dynamics of chemical reactions, and molecular processes inside living cells. In this review, we present the recent use of FCS for measuring the size of colloidal nanoparticles in solution. We review the theoretical basis and experimental implementation of this technique and its advantages and limitations. In particular, we show examples of the use of FCS to measure the size of gold nanoparticles, monitor the rotational dynamics of gold nanorods, and investigate the formation of protein coronas on nanoparticles...
May 27, 2016: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Erik D Holmstrom, David J Nesbitt
Single-molecule fluorescence microscopy techniques can be used in combination with micrometer length-scale temperature control and Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) in order to gain detailed information about fundamental biophysical phenomena. In particular, this combination of techniques has helped foster the development of remarkable quantitative tools for studying both time- and temperature-dependent structural kinetics of biopolymers. Over the past decade, multiple research efforts have successfully incorporated precise spatial and temporal control of temperature into single-molecule FRET (smFRET)-based experiments, which have uncovered critical thermodynamic information on a wide range of biological systems such as conformational dynamics of nucleic acids...
May 27, 2016: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Joseph E Subotnik, Amber Jain, Brian Landry, Andrew Petit, Wenjun Ouyang, Nicole Bellonzi
We present a current, up-to-date review of the surface hopping methodology for solving nonadiabatic problems, 25 years after Tully published the fewest switches surface hopping algorithm. After reviewing the original motivation for and failures of the algorithm, we give a detailed examination of modern advances, focusing on both theoretical and practical issues. We highlight how one can partially derive surface hopping from the Schrödinger equation in the adiabatic basis, how one can change basis within the surface hopping algorithm, and how one should understand and apply the notions of decoherence and wavepacket bifurcation...
May 27, 2016: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
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