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Interaction of theory and experiment: examples from single molecule studies of nanoparticles

Marcus, Rudolph A. (2010) Interaction of theory and experiment: examples from single molecule studies of nanoparticles. Philosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 368 (1914). pp. 1109-1124. ISSN 1364-503X. PMCID PMC3263810.

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This article is in part the author's perspective on the revolution that has occurred in theoretical chemistry during the past half-century. In this period much of theoretical chemistry has moved from its initial emphasis on analytic treatments, resulting in equations for physical chemical and chemical phenomena, to the detailed computation of many different systems and processes. In the best sense the old and the new are complementary and their coexistence can benefit both. Experiment too has seen major developments. One of the newer types of experiment is that of single molecule studies. They range from those on small inorganic and organic nanoparticles to large biological species. We illustrate some of the issues that arise, using the topic of ‘quantum dots’ (QDs), and choosing a particular inorganic nanoparticle, CdSe, the most studied of these systems. Its study reflects the problems that arise in experiment and in theories in this field. The complementary nature of the conventional ensemble experiments and the new single molecule experiments is described and is illustrated by trajectories for the two types of experiments. The research in the QD field is both experimentally and theoretically a currently ongoing process, for which the answers are not fully known in spite of the large body of research. The detailed role of surface states is part of the problem. The field continues to yield new and unexpected results. In a sense this part of the article is an interim report that illustrates one analytic approach to the topic and where computer calculations and simulations can be expected to provide added insight.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle CentralArticle
Marcus, Rudolph A.0000-0001-6547-1469
Additional Information:© 2010 The Royal Society. Free via Creative Commons: CC. One contribution of 17 to a Theme Issue ‘Personal perspectives in the physical sciences for the Royal Society’s 350th anniversary’. It is a pleasure to acknowledge the support of this work by the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation. Very helpful discussions with Prof. M. E. Michel-Beyerle and Dr Wei-Chen Chen are gratefully acknowledged. Dr Chen’s assistance in the preparation of the figures is much appreciated.
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Office of Naval Research (ONR)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:single molecule studies; nanoparticles; quantum dots; fluorescence intermittency; reaction-diffusion equation
Issue or Number:1914
PubMed Central ID:PMC3263810
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100303-142653450
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Official Citation:Rudolph A. Marcus Interaction of theory and experiment: examples from single molecule studies of nanoparticlesPhil. Trans. R. Soc. A March 13, 2010 368:1109-1124; doi:10.1098/rsta.2009.0261
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:17652
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Mar 2010 17:27
Last Modified:22 Nov 2019 09:58

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