Origin of the size-dependence of the polarizability per atom in heterogeneous clusters: The case of AlP clusters

Alisa Krishtal, Patrick Senet, Christian Van Alsenoy

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An analysis of the atomic polarizabilities α in stoichiometric aluminum phosphide clusters, computed at the MP2 and density functional theory (DFT) levels, the latter using the B3LYP functional, and partitioned using the classic and iterative versions of the Hirshfeld method, is presented. Two sets of clusters are examined: the ground-state Aln Pn clusters (n=2-9) and the prolate clusters (Al2 P2)N and (Al3 P3)N (N6). In the ground-state clusters, the mean polarizability per atom, i.e., α/2n, decreases with the cluster size but shows peaks at n=5 and at n=7. We demonstrate that these peaks can be explained by a large polarizability of the Al atoms and by a low polarizability of the P atoms in Al5 P5 and Al7 P7 due to the presence of homopolar bonds in these clusters. We show indeed that the polarizability of an atom within an Aln Pn cluster depends on the cluster size and the heteropolarity of the bonds it forms within the cluster, i.e., on the charges of the atoms. The polarizabilities of the fragments Al2 P2 and Al3 P3 in the prolate clusters were found to depend mainly on their location within the cluster. Finally, we show that the iterative Hirshfeld method is more suitable than the classic Hirshfeld method for describing the atomic polarizabilities and the atomic charges in clusters with heteropolar bonds, although both versions of the Hirshfeld method lead to similar conclusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number154310
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 21 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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