Molecular dynamics simulation of O-2 sticking on Pt(111) using the ab initio based ReaxFF reactive force field

P Valentini and TE Schwartzentruber and I Cozmuta, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 133, 084703 (2010).

DOI: 10.1063/1.3469810

The molecular dynamics technique with the ab initio based classical reactive force field ReaxFF is used to study the adsorption dynamics of O-2 on Pt(111) for both normal and oblique impacts. Overall, good quantitative agreement with the experimental data is found at low incident energies. Specifically, our simulations reproduce the characteristic minimum of the trapping probability at kinetic incident energies around 0.1 eV. This feature is determined by the presence of a physisorption well in the ReaxFF potential energy surface (PES) and the progressive suppression of a steering mechanism when increasing the translational kinetic energy (or the molecule's rotational energy) because of steric hindrance. In the energy range between 0.1 and 0.4 eV, the sticking probability increases, similar to molecular beam sticking data. For very energetic impacts (above 0.4 eV), ReaxFF predicts sticking probabilities lower than experimental sticking data by almost a factor of 3 due to an overall less attractive ReaxFF PES compared to experiments and density functional theory. For oblique impacts, the trapping probability is reduced by the nonzero parallel momentum because of the PES corrugation and does not scale with the total incident kinetic energy. Furthermore, our simulations predict quasispecular (slightly supraspecular) distributions of angles of reflection, in accordance with molecular beam experiments. Increasing the beam energy (between 1.2 and 1.7 eV) causes the angular distributions to broaden and to exhibit a tail toward the surface normal because molecules have enough momentum to get very near the surface and thus probe more corrugated repulsive regions of the PES. (C) 2010 American Institute of Physics. doi: 10.1063/1.3469810

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