Non-linear optical properties of molecules in heterogeneous environments: a quadratic density functional/molecular mechanics response theory†
We generalize a density functional theory/molecular mechanics approach for heterogeneous environments with an implementation of quadratic response theory. The updated methodology allows us to address a variety of non-linear optical, magnetic and mixed properties of molecular species in complex environments, such as combined metallic, solvent and confined organic environments. Illustrating calculations of para-nitroaniline on gold surfaces and in solution reveals a number of aspects that come into play when analyzing second harmonic generation of such systems – such as surface charge flow, coupled surface–solvent dynamics and induced geometric and electronic structure effects of the adsorbate. Some ramifications of the methodology for applied studies are discussed.