Use of direct dynamics simulations to determine unimolecular reaction paths and Arrhenius parameters for large molecules

Li Yang, Rui Sun, William L. Hase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

In a previous study (J. Chem. Phys.2008, 129, 094701) it was shown that for a large molecule, with a total energy much greater than its barrier for decomposition and whose vibrational modes are harmonic oscillators, the expressions for the classical Rice-Ramsperger-Kassel-Marcus (RRKM) (i.e., RRK) and classical transition-state theory (TST) rate constants become equivalent. Using this relationship, a molecule's unimolecular rate constants versus temperature may be determined from chemical dynamics simulations of microcanonical ensembles for the molecule at different total energies. The simulation identifies the molecule's unimolecular pathways and their Arrhenius parameters. In the work presented here, this approach is used to study the thermal decomposition of CH3-NH-CH=CH-CH3, an important constituent in the polymer of cross-linked epoxy resins. Direct dynamics simulations, at the MP2/6-31+G* level of theory, were used to investigate the decomposition of microcanonical ensembles for this molecule. The Arrhenius A and Ea parameters determined from the direct dynamics simulation are in very good agreement with the TST Arrhenius parameters for the MP2/6-31+G* potential energy surface. The simulation method applied here may be particularly useful for large molecules with a multitude of decomposition pathways and whose transition states may be difficult to determine and have structures that are not readily obvious.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3478-3483
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Volume7
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 8 2011

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