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[en] Femtosecond time-resolved soft x-ray transient absorption spectroscopy based on a high-order harmonic generation source is used to investigate the dissociative ionization of CH2Br2 induced by 800 nm strong-field irradiation. At moderate peak intensities (2.0 x 1014 W/cm2), strong-field ionization is accompanied by ultrafast C-Br bond dissociation, producing both neutral Br (2P3/2) and Br* (2P1/2) atoms together with the CH2Br+ fragment ion. The measured rise times for Br and Br* are 130 ± 22 fs and 74 ± 10 fs, respectively. The atomic bromine quantum state distribution shows that the Br/Br* population ratio is 8.1 ± 3.8 and that the Br 2P3/2 state is not aligned. The observed product distribution and the timescales of the photofragment appearances suggest that multiple field-dressed potential energy surfaces are involved in the dissociative ionization process. In addition, the transient absorption spectrum of CH2Br2+ suggests that the alignment of the molecule relative to the polarization axis of the strong-field ionizing pulse determines the electronic symmetry of the resulting ion; alignment of the Br-Br, H-H, and C2 axis of the molecule along the polarization axis results in the production of the ion (tilde X)(2B2), (tilde B)(2B1) and (tilde C)(2A1) states, respectively. At higher peak intensities (6.2 x 1014 W/cm2), CH2Br2+ undergoes sequential ionization to form the metastable CH2Br22+ dication. These results demonstrate the potential of core-level probing with high-order harmonic transient absorption spectroscopy for studying ultrafast molecular dynamics
[en] We present an extensive density functional theory (DFT) study of adsorption site energetics for oxygen and sulfur adsorbed on two vicinal surfaces of Cu and Ag, with the goal of identifying the most stable adsorption site(s), identifying trends and common themes, and comparing with experimental work in the literature where possible. We also present benchmark calculations for adsorption on the flat (111) and (100) surfaces. The first vicinal surface is the (211), and results are similar for both metals. Here, we find that the step-doubling reconstruction is favored with both adsorbates and is driven by the creation of a special stable fourfold hollow (4fh) site at the reconstructed step. Zig-zag chain structures consisting of X–M–X units (X = chalcogen, M = metal) at the step edge are considered, in which the special 4fh site is partially occupied. The zig-zag configuration is energetically competitive for oxygen but not sulfur. DFT results for oxygen agree with experiment in terms of the stability of the reconstruction, but contradict the original site assignment. The second vicinal surface is the (410), where again results are similar for both metals. For oxygen, DFT predicts that step sites are filled preferentially even at lowest coverage, followed by terrace sites, consistent with the experiment. For sulfur, in contrast, DFT predicts that terrace sites fill first. Oxygen forms O–M–O rows on the top edge of the step, where it occupies incomplete 4fh sites. This resolves an experimental ambiguity in the site assignment. Finally, for both the (211) and (410) surfaces, the interaction energy that stabilizes the X–M–X chain or row correlates with the linearity of the X–M–X unit, which may explain key differences between oxygen and sulfur.
[en] The properties of water under confinement are of practical and fundamental interest. Here in this work we study the properties of water in the self-assembled lyotropic phases of gemini surfactants with a focus on testing the standard analysis of quasi-elastic neutron scattering (QENS) experiments. In QENS experiments the dynamic structure factor is measured and fit to models to extract the translational diffusion constant, DT , and rotational relaxation time, τR. We test this procedure by using simulation results for the dynamic structure factor, extracting the dynamic parameters from the fit as is typically done in experiments, and comparing the values to those directly measured in the simulations. We find that the decoupling approximation, where the intermediate scattering function is assumed to be a product of translational and rotational contributions, is quite accurate. The jump-diffusion and isotropic rotation models, however, are not accurate when the degree of confinement is high. In particular, the exponential approximations for the intermediate scattering function fail for highly confined water and the values of DT and τR can differ from the measured value by as much as a factor of two. Other models have more fit parameters, however, and with the range of energies and wave-vectors accessible to QENS, the typical analysis appears to be the best choice. In the most confined lamellar phase, the dynamics are sufficiently slow that QENS does not access a large enough time scale and neutron spin echo measurements would be a valuable technique in addition to QENS.
[en] Iterative energy minimization with the aim of achieving self-consistency is a common feature of Born-Oppenheimer molecular dynamics (BOMD) and classical molecular dynamics with polarizable force fields. In the former, the electronic degrees of freedom are optimized, while the latter often involves an iterative determination of induced point dipoles. The computational effort of the self-consistency procedure can be reduced by re-using converged solutions from previous time steps. However, this must be done carefully, as not to break time-reversal symmetry, which negatively impacts energy conservation. Self-consistent schemes based on the extended Lagrangian formalism, where the initial guesses for the optimized quantities are treated as auxiliary degrees of freedom, constitute one elegant solution. We report on the performance of two integration schemes with the same underlying extended Lagrangian structure, which we both employ in two radically distinct regimes—in classical molecular dynamics simulations with the AMOEBA polarizable force field and in BOMD simulations with the Onetep linear-scaling density functional theory (LS-DFT) approach. Furthermore, both integration schemes are found to offer significant improvements over the standard (unpropagated) molecular dynamics formulation in both the classical and LS-DFT regimes.
[en] Ordering nanoparticles into a desired super-structure is often crucial for their technological applications. We use molecular dynamics simulations to study the assembly of nanoparticles in a polymer brush randomly grafted to a planar surface as the solvent evaporates. Initially, the nanoparticles are dispersed in a solvent that wets the polymer brush. After the solvent evaporates, the nanoparticles are either inside the brush or adsorbed at the surface of the brush, depending on the strength of the nanoparticle-polymer interaction. For strong nanoparticle-polymer interactions, a 2-dimensional ordered array is only formed when the brush density is finely tuned to accommodate a single layer of nanoparticles. When the brush density is higher or lower than this optimal value, the distribution of nanoparticles shows large fluctuations in space and the packing order diminishes. For weak nanoparticle-polymer interactions, the nanoparticles order into a hexagonal array on top of the polymer brush as long as the grafting density is high enough to yield a dense brush. As a result, an interesting healing effect is observed for a low-grafting-density polymer brush that can become more uniform in the presence of weakly adsorbed nanoparticles.
[en] Quantum Monte Carlo calculations of defect properties of transition metal oxides have become feasible in recent years due to increases in computing power. As the system size has grown, availability of on-node memory has become a limiting factor. Saving memory while minimizing computational cost is now a priority. The main growth in memory demand stems from the B-spline representation of the single particle orbitals, especially for heavier elements such as transition metals where semi-core states are present. Despite the associated memory costs, splines are computationally efficient. In this paper, we explore alternatives to reduce the memory usage of splined orbitals without significantly affecting numerical fidelity or computational efficiency. We make use of the kinetic energy operator to both classify and smooth the occupied set of orbitals prior to splining. By using a partitioning scheme based on the per-orbital kinetic energy distributions, we show that memory savings of about 50% is possible for select transition metal oxide systems. Finally, for production supercells of practical interest, our scheme incurs a performance penalty of less than 5%.
[en] N 2 is a diatomic molecule with complex electronic structure. Interstate crossings are prominent in the high energy domain, introducing significant perturbations to the system. Nitrogen mainly photodissociates in the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) region of the electromagnetic spectrum through both direct and indirect predissociation. Due to the complexity introduced by these perturbations, the nitrogen isotopic fractionation in N 2 photodissociation is extremely hard to calculate, and an experimental approach is required. We present new data of N-isotopic fractionation in N 2 photodissociation at low temperature (80 K), which shows a distinctly different15N enrichment profile compared to that at relatively higher temperatures (200 and 300 K). The new data, important to understanding the N-isotopic compositions measured in meteorites and other planetary bodies, are discussed in light of the knowledge of N 2 photochemistry and calculated photoabsorption cross sections in the VUV. Authors: