Plasmon-induced nonlinear response of silver atomic chains†
Nonlinear response of a linear silver atomic chain upon ultrafast laser excitation has been studied in real time using the time-dependent density functional theory. We observe the presence of nonlinear responses up to the fifth order in tunneling current, which is ascribed to the excitation of high-energy electrons generated by Landau damping of plasmons. The nonlinear effect is enhanced after adsorption of polar molecules such as water due to the enhanced damping rates during plasmon decay. Increasing the length of atomic chains also increases the nonlinear response, favoring higher-order plasmon excitation. These findings offer new insights towards a complete understanding and ultimate control of plasmon-induced nonlinear phenomena to atomic precision.