Screened environment-dependent reactive empirical bond-order potential for atomistic simulations of carbon materials

R Perriot and X Gu and Y Lin and VV Zhakhovsky and II Oleynik, PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 88, 064101 (2013).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.88.064101

A screened environment-dependent reactive empirical bond-order (SED- REBO) potential has been developed for large-scale molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of carbon materials. Based on the second-generation REBO potential developed by Brenner and co-workers J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 14, 783 (2002), the SED-REBO potential overcomes the deficiencies of the REBO potential, which arise from a short range of interatomic interactions and their abrupt switching off at the cutoff distance, by increasing the range of interatomic interactions and eliminating the explicit switching function while introducing a simple yet efficient screening function. The increased cutoff distance allows the inclusion of interactions critically important for the physically correct description of bond breaking and bond remaking. An analytic form of the attractive and repulsive pairwise terms was devised to automatically become zero at distances above the cutoff, thus, eliminating the need for the switching function. The screening function effectively screens off the second- and further-nearest-neighbor interactions for calculation of energy and forces in a smooth and continuous way for both compression and expansion. The pairwise attractive and repulsive terms were refitted within a wide range of interatomic distances to properly describe large compressions and expansions of diamond and graphene as well as their behavior near equilibrium. Good performances of the SED-REBO potential to describe bond-breaking processes at extreme tensile stresses are demonstrated in large-scale MD simulations of the nanoindentation of graphene membranes. A computationally efficient version of the SED-REBO potential is introduced for large-scale MD simulations of shock-wave compression in carbon materials. The SED-REBO potential is implemented as a module in the Large-Scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator (LAMMPS) and is freely available.

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