The importance of accurate adiabatic interaction potentials for the correct description of electronically nonadiabatic vibrational energy transfer: A combined experimental and theoretical study of NO(v = 3) collisions with a Au(111) surface

Kai Golibrzuch, Pranav R. Shirhatti, Igor Rahinov, Alexander Kandratsenka, Daniel J. Auerbach, Alec M. Wodtke, Christof Bartels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present a combined experimental and theoretical study of NO(v = 3 → 3, 2, 1) scattering from a Au(111) surface at incidence translational energies ranging from 0.1 to 1.2 eV. Experimentally, molecular beam-surface scattering is combined with vibrational overtone pumping and quantum-state selective detection of the recoiling molecules. Theoretically, we employ a recently developed first-principles approach, which employs an Independent Electron Surface Hopping (IESH) algorithm to model the nonadiabatic dynamics on a Newns-Anderson Hamiltonian derived from density functional theory. This approach has been successful when compared to previously reported NO/Au scattering data. The experiments presented here show that vibrational relaxation probabilities increase with incidence energy of translation. The theoretical simulations incorrectly predict high relaxation probabilities at low incidence translational energy. We show that this behavior originates from trajectories exhibiting multiple bounces at the surface, associated with deeper penetration and favored (N-down) molecular orientation, resulting in a higher average number of electronic hops and thus stronger vibrational relaxation. The experimentally observed narrow angular distributions suggest that mainly single-bounce collisions are important. Restricting the simulations by selecting only single-bounce trajectories improves agreement with experiment. The multiple bounce artifacts discovered in this work are also present in simulations employing electronic friction and even for electronically adiabatic simulations, meaning they are not a direct result of the IESH algorithm. This work demonstrates how even subtle errors in the adiabatic interaction potential, especially those that influence the interaction time of the molecule with the surface, can lead to an incorrect description of electronically nonadiabatic vibrational energy transfer in molecule-surface collisions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number044701
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume140
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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