Raman scattering in current-carrying molecular junctions

Michael Galperin*, Mark A. Ratner, Abraham Nitzan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


We present a theory for Raman scattering by current-carrying molecular junctions. The approach combines a nonequilibrium Green's function (NEGF) description of the nonequilibrium junction with a generalized scattering theory formulation for evaluating the light scattering signal. This generalizes our previous study [M. Galperin and A. Nitzan, Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 206802 (2005); J. Chem. Phys. 124, 234709 (2006)] of junction spectroscopy by including molecular vibrations and developing machinery for calculation of state-to-state (Raman scattering) fluxes within the NEGF formalism. For large enough voltage bias, we find that the light scattering signal contains, in addition to the normal signal associated with the molecular ground electronic state, also a contribution from the inverse process originated from the excited molecular state as well as an interference component. The effects of coupling to the electrodes and of the imposed bias on the total Raman scattering as well as its components are discussed. Our result reduces to the standard expression for Raman scattering in the isolated molecule case, i.e., in the absence of coupling to the electrodes. The theory is used to discuss the charge-transfer contribution to surface enhanced Raman scattering for molecules adsorbed on metal surfaces and its manifestation in the biased junction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number144109
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2009


FundersFunder number
European Research Commission
Germany-Israel Foundation
Northwestern MRSECDMR 0520513
National Science Foundation
U.S. Department of EnergyDE-AC52-06NA25396
National Nuclear Security Administration
University of California, San Diego
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Academic Senate, University of California, Riverside
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation
Israel Science Foundation1646/08


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