A classical picture of subnanometer junctions: an atomistic Drude approach to nanoplasmonics†
The description of optical properties of subnanometer junctions is particularly challenging. Purely classical approaches fail, because the quantum nature of electrons needs to be considered. Here we report on a novel classical fully atomistic approach, ωFQ, based on the Drude model for conduction in metals, classical electrostatics and quantum tunneling. We show that ωFQ is able to reproduce the plasmonic behavior of complex metal subnanometer junctions with quantitative fidelity to full ab initio calculations. Besides the practical potentialities of our approach for large scale nanoplasmonic simulations, we show that a classical approach, in which the atomistic discretization of matter is properly accounted for, can accurately describe the nanoplasmonics phenomena dominated by quantum effects.