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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Symmetrical Windowing for Quantum States in Quasi-Classical Trajectory Simulations
by Cotton, Stephen Joshua, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2014, 131; 3686249
Abstract (Summary)

An approach has been developed for extracting approximate quantum state-to-state information from classical trajectory simulations which "quantizes" symmetrically both the initial and final classical actions associated with the degrees of freedom of interest using quantum number bins (or "window functions") which are significantly narrower than unit-width. This approach thus imposes a more stringent quantization condition on classical trajectory simulations than has been traditionally employed, while doing so in a manner that is time-symmetric and microscopically reversible.

To demonstrate this "symmetric quasi-classical" (SQC) approach for a simple real system, collinear H + H2 reactive scattering calculations were performed [S.J. Cotton and W.H. Miller, J. Phys. Chem. A 117, 7190 (2013)] with SQC-quantization applied to the H 2 vibrational degree of freedom (DOF). It was seen that the use of window functions of approximately 1/2-unit width led to calculated reaction probabilities in very good agreement with quantum mechanical results over the threshold energy region, representing a significant improvement over what is obtained using the traditional quasi-classical procedure.

The SQC approach was then applied [S.J. Cotton and W.H. Miller, J. Chem. Phys. 139, 234112 (2013)] to the much more interesting and challenging problem of incorporating non-adiabatic effects into what would otherwise be standard classical trajectory simulations. To do this, the classical Meyer-Miller (MM) Hamiltonian was used to model the electronic DOFs, with SQC-quantization applied to the classical "electronic" actions of the MM model—representing the occupations of the electronic states—in order to extract the electronic state population dynamics. It was demonstrated that if one ties the zero-point energy (ZPE) of the electronic DOFs to the SQC windowing function's width parameter this very simple SQC/MM approach is capable of quantitatively reproducing quantum mechanical results for a range of standard benchmark models of electronically non-adiabatic processes, including applications where "quantum" coherence effects are significant. Notably, among these benchmarks was the well-studied "spin-boson" model of condensed phase non-adiabatic dynamics, in both its symmetric and asymmetric forms—the latter of which many classical approaches fail to treat successfully.

The SQC/MM approach to the treatment of non-adiabatic dynamics was next applied [S.J. Cotton, K. Igumenshchev, and W.H. Miller, J. Chem. Phys., 141, 084104 (2014)] to several recently proposed models of condensed phase electron transfer (ET) processes. For these problems, a flux-side correlation function framework modified for consistency with the SQC approach was developed for the calculation of thermal ET rate constants, and excellent accuracy was seen over wide ranges of non-adiabatic coupling strength and energetic bias/exothermicity. Significantly, the "inverted regime" in thermal rate constants (with increasing bias) known from Marcus Theory was reproduced quantitatively for these models—representing the successful treatment of another regime that classical approaches generally have difficulty in correctly describing. Relatedly, a model of photoinduced proton coupled electron transfer (PCET) was also addressed, and it was shown that the SQC/MM approach could reasonably model the explicit population dynamics of the photoexcited electron donor and acceptor states over the four parameter regimes considered.

The potential utility of the SQC/MM technique lies in its stunning simplicity and the ease by which it may readily be incorporated into "ordinary" molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. In short, a typical MD simulation may be augmented to take non-adiabatic effects into account simply by introducing an auxiliary pair of classical "electronic" action-angle variables for each energetically viable Born-Oppenheimer surface, and time-evolving these auxiliary variables via Hamilton's equations (using the MM electronic Hamiltonian) in the same manner that the other classical variables—i.e., the coordinates of all the nuclei—are evolved forward in time. In a complex molecular system involving many hundreds or thousands of nuclear DOFs, the propagation of these extra "electronic" variables represents a modest increase in computational effort, and yet, the examples presented herein suggest that in many instances the SQC/MM approach will describe the true non-adiabatic quantum dynamics to a reasonable and useful degree of quantitative accuracy.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Miller, William H.
Commitee: Littlejohn, Robert G., Whaley, Birgitta
School: University of California, Berkeley
Department: Chemistry
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Physical chemistry, Quantum physics
Keywords: Meyer-miller hamiltonian, Quantum, Symmetric quasi-classical
Publication Number: 3686249
ISBN: 978-1-321-62997-2
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