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In this work, the adsorption and splitting of the water molecule by light and/or an external potential is investigated in the frame of (photo-) electrochemical cells using a rutile ruthenium dioxide anode. With the help of periodic density functional calculations, the adsorbed structures of H(2)O and some radicals involved in the splitting process (O, OH, OOH) are obtained and compared with the available experimental results. On the basis of these electronic-structure calculations, we use a method to calculate the stability of the reaction intermediates and conclude on the thermodynamical possibility of the water splitting reaction at the surface. We demonstrate that a moderate overpotential of 0.64 V is required for the reaction to take place at the RuO(2)(110) surface.

There is a demand for new and robust PdII extractants due to growing recycling rates. Chelating dithioethers are promising substances for solvent extraction as they form stable square-planar complexes with PdII. We have modified unsaturated dithioethers, which are known to coordinate PdII, and adapted them to the requirements of industrial practice. The ligands are analogues of 1,2-dithioethene with varying electron-withdrawing backbones and polar end-groups. The crystal structures of several ligands and their palladium complexes were determined as well as their electro- and photochemical properties, complex stability and behaviour in solution. Solvent extraction experiments showed the superiority of some of our ligands over conventionally used extractants in terms of their very fast reaction rates. With highly selective 1,2-bis(2-methoxyethylthio)benzene (4) it is possible to extract PdII from a highly acidic medium in the presence of other base and palladium-group metals.

Laser-induced condensed phase reactions are often interpreted as nonequilibrium phenomena that go beyond conventional thermodynamics. Here, we show by Langevin dynamics and for the example of femtosecond-laser desorption of hydrogen from a ruthenium surface that light adsorbates thermalize rapidly due to ultrafast energy redistribution after laser excitation. Despite the complex reaction mechanism involving hot electrons in the surface region, all desorption product properties are characterized by equilibrium distributions associated with a single, unique temperature. This represents an example of ultrahot chemistry on the subpicosecond time scale.

Correlated many-electron dynamics : application to inelastic electron scattering at a metal film
(2005)

The multiconfiguration time-dependent Hartree-Fock and the time-dependent configuration interaction singles method are applied to the correlated many-electron dynamics of a one-dimensional jellium model system. We study the scattering of an initially free electron at a model film in the framework of both approaches. In particular, both methods are compared with regard to how they describe the underlying physical processes, namely inelastic electron scattering, inverse photoemission, and electron impact ionization

The biconformational switching of single cyclooctadiene molecules chemisorbed on a Si(001) surface was explored by quantum chemical and quantum dynamical calculations and low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy experiments. The calculations rationalize the experimentally observed switching driven by inelastic electron tunneling (IET) at 5 K. At higher temperatures, they predict a controllable crossover behavior between IET-driven and thermally activated switching, which is fully confirmed by experiment.

The switching of single cyclooctadiene molecules chemisorbed on a Si(100) surface between two stable conformations, can be achieved with a scanning tunneling microscope [Nacci , Phys. Rev. B 77, 121405(R) (2008)]. Recently, it was shown by quantum chemical and quantum dynamical simulations that major experimental facts can be explained by a single-mode model with switching enforced by inelastic electron tunneling (IET) excitations and perturbed by vibrational relaxation [Nacci , Nano Lett. 9, 2997 (2009)]. In the present paper, we extend the previous theoretical work in several respects: (1) The model is generalized to a two-mode description in which two C2H4 units of COD can move independently; (2) contributions of dipole and, in addition, (cation and anion) resonance-IET rates are considered; (3) the harmonic-linear vibrational relaxation model used previously is generalized to anharmonic vibrations. While the present models highlight generic aspects of IET-switching between two potential minima, they also rationalize specific experimental findings for COD/Si(100): (1) A single-electron excitation mechanism with a linear dependence of the switching rate on tunneling current I, (2) the capability to switch both at negative and positive sample biases, and (3) a crossover temperature around similar to 60 K from an IET-driven, T-independent atom tunneling regime, to classical over-the-barrier isomerization with exponential T-dependence at higher temperatures for a bias voltage of +1.5 V and an average tunneling current of 0.73 nA.

An electronic friction approach based on Langevin dynamics is used to describe the multidimensional (six-dimensional) dynamics of femtosecond laser induced desorption of H-2 and D-2 from a H(D)-covered Ru(0001) surface. The paper extends previous reduced-dimensional models, using a similar approach. In the present treatment forces and frictional coefficients are calculated from periodic density functional theory (DFT) and essentially parameter-free, while the action of femtosecond laser pulses on the metal surface is treated by using the two-temperature model. Our calculations shed light on the performance and validity of various adiabatic, non-adiabatic, and Arrhenius/Kramers type kinetic models to describe hot-electron mediated photoreactions at metal surfaces. The multidimensional frictional dynamics are able to reproduce and explain known experimental facts, such as strong isotope effects, scaling of properties with laser fluence, and non-equipartitioning of vibrational, rotational, and translational energies of desorbing species. Further, detailed predictions regarding translations are made, and the question for the controllability of photoreactions at surfaces with the help of vibrational preexcitation is addressed.

In this paper, we perform many-electron dynamics using the time-dependent configuration-interaction method in its reduced density matrix formulation (rho-TDCI). Dissipation is treated implicitly using the Lindblad formalism. To include the effect of ionization on the state-resolved dynamics, we extend a recently introduced heuristic model for ionizing states to the rho-TDCI method, which leads to a reduced density matrix evolution that is not norm-preserving. We apply the new method to the laser-driven excitation of H(2) in a strongly dissipative environment, for which the state-resolve lifetimes are tuned to a few femtoseconds, typical for dynamics of adsorbate at metallic surfaces. Further testing is made on the laser-induced intramolecular charge transfer in a quinone derivative as a model for a molecular switch. A modified scheme to treat ionizing states is proposed to reduce the computational burden associated with the density matrix propagation, and it is thoroughly tested and compared to the results obtained with the former model. The new approach scales favorably (similar to N(2)) with the number of configurations N used to represent the reduced density matrix in the rho-TDCI method, as compared to a N(3) scaling for the model in its original form.