281 research outputs found

    Ab initio statistical mechanics of surface adsorption and desorption: I. H2_2O on MgO (001) at low coverage

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    We present a general computational scheme based on molecular dynamics (m.d.) simulation for calculating the chemical potential of adsorbed molecules in thermal equilibrium on the surface of a material. The scheme is based on the calculation of the mean force in m.d. simulations in which the height of a chosen molecule above the surface is constrained, and subsequent integration of the mean force to obtain the potential of mean force and hence the chemical potential. The scheme is valid at any coverage and temperature, so that in principle it allows the calculation of the chemical potential as a function of coverage and temperature. It avoids all statistical mechanical approximations, except for the use of classical statistical mechanics for the nuclei, and assumes nothing in advance about the adsorption sites. From the chemical potential, the absolute desorption rate of the molecules can be computed, provided the equilibration rate on the surface is faster than the desorption rate. We apply the theory by {\em ab initio} m.d. simulation to the case of H2_2O on MgO (001) in the low-coverage limit, using the Perdew-Burke-Ernzerhof (PBE) form of exchange-correlation. The calculations yield an {\em ab initio} value of the Polanyi-Wigner frequency prefactor, which is more than two orders of magnitude greater than the value of 101310^{13} s‚ąí1^{-1} often assumed in the past. Provisional comparison with experiment suggests that the PBE adsorption energy may be too low, but the extension of the calculations to higher coverages is needed before firm conclusions can be drawn. The possibility of including quantum nuclear effects by using path-integral simulations is noted.Comment: 11 pages + 10 figure

    First-principles kinetic Monte Carlo simulations for heterogeneous catalysis, applied to the CO oxidation at RuO2(110)

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    We describe a first-principles statistical mechanics approach enabling us to simulate the steady-state situation of heterogeneous catalysis. In a first step density-functional theory together with transition-state theory is employed to obtain the energetics of all relevant elementary processes. Subsequently the statistical mechanics problem is solved by the kinetic Monte Carlo method, which fully accounts for the correlations, fluctuations, and spatial distributions of the chemicals at the surface of the catalyst under steady-state conditions. Applying this approach to the catalytic oxidation of CO at RuO2(110), we determine the surface atomic structure and composition in reactive environments ranging from ultra-high vacuum (UHV) to technologically relevant conditions, i.e. up to pressures of several atmospheres and elevated temperatures. We also compute the CO2 formation rates (turnover frequencies). The results are in quantitative agreement with all existing experimental data. We find that the high catalytic activity of this system is intimately connected with a disordered, dynamic surface ``phase'' with significant compositional fluctuations. In this active state the catalytic function results from a self-regulating interplay of several elementary processes.Comment: 18 pages including 9 figures; related publications can be found at http://www.fhi-berlin.mpg.de/th/th.htm

    The sticking probability of D2O-water on ice: Isotope effects and the influence of vibrational excitation

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    International audienceThe present study measures the sticking probability of heavy water (D2O) on H2O- and on D2O-ice and probes the influence of selective OD-stretch excitation on D2O sticking on these ices. Molecular beam techniques are combined with infrared laser excitation to allow for precise control of incident angle, translational energy, and vibrational state of the incident molecules. For a translational energy of 69 kJ/mol and large incident angles (őł ‚Č• 45¬į), the sticking probability of D2O on H2O-ice was found to be 1% lower than on D2O-ice. OD-stretch excitation by IR laser pumping of the incident D2O molecules produces no detectable change of the D2O sticking probability (<10‚ąí3). The results are compared with other gas/surface systems for which the effect of vibrational excitation on trapping has been probed experimentally

    Ad- and desorption of Rb atoms on a gold nanofilm measured by surface plasmon polaritons

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    Hybrid quantum systems made of cold atoms near nanostructured surfaces are expected to open up new opportunities for the construction of quantum sensors and for quantum information. For the design of such tailored quantum systems the interaction of alkali atoms with dielectric and metallic surfaces is crucial and required to be understood in detail. Here, we present real-time measurements of the adsorption and desorption of Rubidium atoms on gold nanofilms. Surface plasmon polaritons (SPP) are excited at the gold surface and detected in a phase sensitive way. From the temporal change of the SPP phase the Rubidium coverage of the gold film is deduced with a sensitivity of better than 0.3 % of a monolayer. By comparing the experimental data with a Langmuir type adsorption model we obtain the thermal desorption rate and the sticking probability. In addition, also laser-induced desorption is observed and quantified.Comment: 9 pages, 6 figure

    Structure, stability, and mobility of small Pd clusters on the stoichiometric and defective TiO2_2 (110) surfaces

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    We report on the structure and adsorption properties of Pdn_n (n=1‚ąí4n=1-4) clusters supported on the rutile TiO2_2 (110) surfaces with the possible presence of a surface oxygen vacancy or a subsurface Ti-interstitial atom. As predicted by the density functional theory, small Pd clusters prefer to bind to the stoichiometric titania surface or at sites near subsurface Ti-interstitial atoms. The adsorption of Pd clusters changes the electronic structure of the underlying surface. For the surface with an oxygen vacancy, the charge localization and ferromagnetic spin states are found to be largely attenuated owing to the adsorption of Pd clusters. The potential energy surfaces of the Pd monomer on different types of surfaces are also reported. The process of sintering is then simulated via the Metropolis Monte Carlo method. The presence of oxygen vacancy likely leads to the dissociation of Pd clusters. On the stoichiometric surface or surface with Ti-interstitial atom, the Pd monomers tend to sinter into larger clusters, whereas the Pd dimer, trimer and tetramer appear to be relatively stable below 600 K. This result agrees with the standard sintering model of transition metal clusters and experimental observations.Comment: 27 pages, 11 figure

    On the statistical mechanics of prion diseases

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    We simulate a two-dimensional, lattice based, protein-level statistical mechanical model for prion diseases (e.g., Mad Cow disease) with concommitant prion protein misfolding and aggregation. Our simulations lead us to the hypothesis that the observed broad incubation time distribution in epidemiological data reflect fluctuation dominated growth seeded by a few nanometer scale aggregates, while much narrower incubation time distributions for innoculated lab animals arise from statistical self averaging. We model `species barriers' to prion infection and assess a related treatment protocol.Comment: 5 Pages, 3 eps figures (submitted to Physical Review Letters
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