Dimerization of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Molecules and Radicals under Flame Conditions

Q Mao and DY Hou and KH Luo and XQ You, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY A, 122, 8701-8708 (2018).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.8b07102

This work presents a dynamic and kinetic study on the dimerization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules and radicals under flame conditions using reactive force field (ReaxFF) molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The accuracy of the ReaxFF force field is evaluated through comparing with quantum chemistry (QC) calculations of the barrier heights and species concentrations of PAHs reacting with H and OH radicals. A series of homobinary collisions between PAH molecules/radicals are performed to reveal the influence of temperature, molecular size, PAH composition, and the number of radical sites on the dynamics and kinetics of PAH dimerization. Instead of directly forming the strong covalent bonds, the majority of the binary collisions between PAH radicals are bound with weak intermolecular interactions. Effects of oxygen on PAH radical dimerization are also investigated, which indicates that the oxygenated PAH radicals are less likely to contribute to soot nucleation. In addition, the temperature, PAH characteristic, and radical site dependent collision efficiency for PAH radical-radical combinations is extracted from this study.

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