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Deciphering the Influence of Ground-State Distributions on the Calculation of Photolysis Observables

Prlj, Antonio; Hollas, Daniel; Curchod, Basile F. E. (2023) Deciphering the Influence of Ground-State Distributions on the Calculation of Photolysis Observables. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 127 (35). pp. 7400-7409. ISSN 1089-5639

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Nonadiabatic molecular dynamics offers a powerful tool for studying the photochemistry of molecular systems. Key to any nonadiabatic molecular dynamics simulation is the definition of its initial conditions (ICs), ideally representing the initial molecular quantum state of the system of interest. In this work, we provide a detailed analysis of how ICs may influence the calculation of experimental observables by focusing on the photochemistry of methylhydroperoxide (MHP), the simplest and most abundant organic peroxide in our atmosphere. We investigate the outcome of trajectory surface hopping simulations for distinct sets of ICs sampled from different approximate quantum distributions, namely harmonic Wigner functions and ab initio molecular dynamics using a quantum thermostat (QT). Calculating photoabsorption cross-sections, quantum yields, and translational kinetic energy maps from the results of these simulations reveals the significant effect of the ICs, in particular when low-frequency (∼ a few hundred cm–1) normal modes are connected to the photophysics of the molecule. Overall, our results indicate that sampling ICs from ab initio molecular dynamics using a QT is preferable for flexible molecules with photoactive low-frequency modes. From a photochemical perspective, our nonadiabatic dynamics simulations offer an explanation for a low-energy tail observed at high excitation energy in the translational kinetic energy map of MHP.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Computational chemistry; Photochemistry
NATURAL SCIENCES > Chemistry > Theoretical Chemistry
Divisions: Division of Physical Chemistry
Depositing User: Antonio Prlj
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2024 14:53
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.3c02333

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