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J Chem Phys. 2012 Aug 14;137(6):064707.

Vibrational deexcitation and rotational excitation of H2 and D2 scattered from Cu(111): adiabatic versus non-adiabatic dynamics.

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Departamento de Química Módulo 13, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain.


We have studied survival and rotational excitation probabilities of H(2)(v(i) = 1, J(i) = 1) and D(2)(v(i) = 1, J(i) = 2) upon scattering from Cu(111) using six-dimensional (6D) adiabatic (quantum and quasi-classical) and non-adiabatic (quasi-classical) dynamics. Non-adiabatic dynamics, based on a friction model, has been used to analyze the role of electron-hole pair excitations. Comparison between adiabatic and non-adiabatic calculations reveals a smaller influence of non-adiabatic effects on the energy dependence of the vibrational deexcitation mechanism than previously suggested by low-dimensional dynamics calculations. Specifically, we show that 6D adiabatic dynamics can account for the increase of vibrational deexcitation as a function of the incidence energy, as well as for the isotope effect observed experimentally in the energy dependence for H(2)(D(2))/Cu(100). Furthermore, a detailed analysis, based on classical trajectories, reveals that in trajectories leading to vibrational deexcitation, the minimum classical turning point is close to the top site, reflecting the multidimensionally of this mechanism. On this site, the reaction path curvature favors vibrational inelastic scattering. Finally, we show that the probability for a molecule to get close to the top site is higher for H(2) than for D(2), which explains the isotope effect found experimentally.

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