Zero-Point Energy Constraint for Unimolecular Dissociation Reactions. Giving Trajectories Multiple Chances to Dissociate Correctly

Amit K. Paul, William L. Hase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

A zero-point energy (ZPE) constraint model is proposed for classical trajectory simulations of unimolecular decomposition and applied to CH4→ H + CH3 decomposition. With this model trajectories are not allowed to dissociate unless they have ZPE in the CH3 product. If not, they are returned to the CH4∗ region of phase space and, if necessary, given additional opportunities to dissociate with ZPE. The lifetime for dissociation of an individual trajectory is the time it takes to dissociate with ZPE in CH3, including multiple possible returns to CH4. With this ZPE constraint the dissociation of CH4∗ is exponential in time as expected for intrinsic RRKM dynamics and the resulting rate constant is in good agreement with the harmonic quantum value of RRKM theory. In contrast, a model that discards trajectories without ZPE in the reaction products gives a CH4→ H + CH3 rate constant that agrees with the classical and not quantum RRKM value. The rate constant for the purely classical simulation indicates that anharmonicity may be important and the rate constant from the ZPE constrained classical trajectory simulation may not represent the complete anharmonicity of the RRKM quantum dynamics. The ZPE constraint model proposed here is compared with previous models for restricting ZPE flow in intramolecular dynamics, and connecting product and reactant/product quantum energy levels in chemical dynamics simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-378
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Volume120
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 28 2016

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