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J Phys Chem B. 2006 Mar 9;110(9):4274-82.

Dynamics of the dissociation of hydrogen on stepped platinum surfaces using the ReaxFF reactive force field.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering and Center for Catalytic Science and Technology, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716-3110, USA.


The dissociation of hydrogen on eight platinum surfaces, Pt(111), Pt(100), Pt(110), Pt(211), Pt(311), Pt(331), Pt(332), and Pt(533), has been studied using molecular dynamics and the reactive force field, ReaxFF. The force field, which includes the degrees of freedom of the atoms in the platinum substrate, was used unmodified with potential parameters determined from previous calculations performed on a training set exclusive of the surfaces considered in this work. The energetics of the eight surfaces in the absence of hydrogen at 0 K were first compared to previous density functional theory (DFT) calculations and found to underestimate excess surface energy. However, taking Pt(111) as a reference state, we found that the trend between surfaces was adequately predicted to justify a relative comparison between the various stepped surfaces. To assess the strengths and weaknesses of the force field, we performed detailed simulations on two stepped surfaces, Pt(533) and Pt(211), and compared our findings to published experimental and theoretical results. In general, the absolute magnitude of reaction rate predictions was low, a result of the force field's tendency to underpredict surface energy. However, when normalized, the simulations show the correct linear scaling with incident energy and angular dependence at collision energies where a direct dissociation mechanism is observed. Because ReaxFF includes all degrees of freedom in the substrate, we carried out simulations aimed at understanding surface-temperature effects on Pt(533). On the basis of the results on Pt(533)/Pt(211), we studied the reaction of hydrogen at normal incidence on all eight surfaces in a range of energies where we anticipated the force field to give reasonable qualitative trends. These results were subsequently fit to a simple linear model that predicts the enhanced reactivity of surfaces containing 111-type atomic steps versus 100-type atomic steps. This model provides a simple framework for predicting high-energy/high-temperature kinetics of complex surfaces not vicinal to Pt(111).

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