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Accurate Probabilities for Highly Activated Reaction of Polyatomic Molecules on Surfaces Using a High-Dimensional Neural Network Potential: CHD3 + Cu(111)

An accurate description of reactive scattering of molecules on metal surfaces often requires the modeling of energy transfer between the molecule and the surface phonons. Although ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) can describe this energy transfer, AIMD is at present untractable for reactions with reaction probabilities smaller than 1%. Here, we show that it is possible to use a neural network potential to describe a polyatomic molecule reacting on a mobile metal surface with considerably reduced computational effort compared to AIMD.

Gerrits, N., Shakouri, K., Behler, J. and Kroes, G.J.
28 March 2019

The highly activated reaction of CHD3 on Cu(111) is used as a test case for this method. The reaction probability is influenced considerably by dynamical effects, such as the bobsled effect and surface recoil. A special dynamical effect for CHD3  + Cu(111) is that a higher vibrational efficacy is obtained for two quanta in the CH stretch mode than for a single quantum.

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