Nonlinear Spectroscopy in the Condensed Phase: The Role of Duschinsky Rotations and Third Order Cumulant Contributions

First-principles modeling of nonlinear optical spectra in the condensed phase is highly challenging because both environment and vibronic interactions can play a large role in determining spectral shapes and excited state dynamics. Here, we compute two dimensional electronic spectroscopy (2DES) signals based on a cumulant expansion of the energy gap fluctuation operator, with a specific focus on analyzing mode mixing effects introduced by the Duschinsky rotation and the role of the third order term in the cumulant expansion for both model and realistic condensed phase systems. We show that for a harmonic model system, the third order cumulant correction captures effects introduced by a mismatch in curvatures of ground and excited state potential energy surfaces, as well as effects of mode mixing. We also demonstrate that 2DES signals can be accurately reconstructed from purely classical correlation functions using quantum correction factors. We then compute nonlinear optical spectra for the Nile red and Methylene blue chromophores in solution, assessing the third order cumulant contribution for realistic systems. We show that the third order cumulant correction is strongly dependent on the treatment of the solvent environment, revealing the interplay between environmental polarization and the electronic-vibrational coupling.