Dynamical Processes in Open Quantum Systems from a TDDFT Perspective: Resonances and Electron Photoemission

Topics In Current Chemistry Vol. 368, p. 219 - 271 (2015)

Dynamical Processes in Open Quantum Systems from a TDDFT Perspective: Resonances and Electron Photoemission

Larsen, Ask Hjorth, De Giovannini, Umberto, Rubio, Angel

We present a review of different computational methods to describe time-dependent phenomena in open quantum systems and their extension to a density-functional framework. We focus the discussion on electron emission processes in atoms and molecules addressing excited-state lifetimes and dissipative processes. Initially we analyse the concept of an electronic resonance, a central concept in spectroscopy associated with a metastable state from which an electron eventually escapes (electronic lifetime). Resonances play a fundamental role in many time-dependent molecular phenomena but can be rationalized from a time-independent context in terms of scattering states. We introduce the method of complex scaling, which is used to capture resonant states as localized states in the spirit of usual bound-state methods, and work on its extension to static and time-dependent density-functional theory. In a time-dependent setting, complex scaling can be used to describe excitations in the continuum as well as wave packet dynamics leading to electron emission. This process can be also treated by using open boundary conditions that allow time-dependent simulations of emission processes without artificial reflections at the boundaries (i.e., borders of the simulation box). We compare in detail different schemes to implement open boundaries, namely transparent boundaries using Green functions, and absorbing boundaries in the form of complex absorbing potentials and mask functions. The last two are regularly used together with time-dependent density-functional theory to describe the electron emission dynamics of atoms and molecules. Finally we discuss approaches to the calculation of energy and angle-resolved time-dependent pump--probe photoelectron spectroscopy of molecular systems.

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