Higher-order electric multipole contributions to retarded non-additive three-body dispersion interaction energies between atoms: Equilateral triangle and collinear configurations

Salam, A.
December 2013
Journal of Chemical Physics;Dec2013, Vol. 139 Issue 24, p244105
Academic Journal
The theory of molecular quantum electrodynamics (QED) is used to calculate higher electric multipole contributions to the dispersion energy shift between three atoms or molecules arranged in a straight line or in an equilateral triangle configuration. As in two-body potentials, three-body dispersion interactions are viewed in the QED formalism to arise from exchange of virtual photons between coupled pairs of particles. By employing an interaction Hamiltonian that is quadratic in the electric displacement field means that third-order perturbation theory can be used to yield the energy shift for a particular combination of electric multipole polarizable species, with only six time-ordered diagrams needing to be summed over. Specific potentials evaluated include dipole-dipole-quadrupole (DDQ), dipole-quadrupole-quadrupole (DQQ), and dipole-dipole-octupole (DDO) terms. For the geometries of interest, near-zone limiting forms are found to exhibit an R-11 dependence on separation distance for the DDQ interaction, and an R-13 behaviour for DQQ and DDO shifts, agreeing with an earlier semi-classical computation. Retardation weakens the potential in each case by R-1 in the far-zone. It is found that by decomposing the octupole moment into its irreducible components of weights-1 and -3 that the former contribution to the DDO potential may be taken to be a higher-order correction to the leading triple dipole energy shift.


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