Hydrogen irradiation-driven computational surface chemistry of lithium oxide and hydroxide

PS Krstic and S Dwivedi and ET Ostrowski and S Abe and A Maan and ACT van Duin and BE Koel, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 159, 244703 (2023).

DOI: 10.1063/5.0177460

We have investigated, using molecular dynamics, the surface chemistry of hydrogen incident on the amorphous and crystalline lithium oxide and lithium hydroxide surfaces upon being slowed down by a collision cascade and retained in the amorphous surface of either Li2O or LiOH. We looked for the bonding of H to the resident structures in the surface to understand a possible chain of chemical reactions that can lead to surface transformation upon H atom impact. Our findings, using Density- Functional Theory (DFT) trained ReaxFF force field/electronegativity equalization method potentials, stress the importance of inclusion of polarization in the dynamics of a Li-O-H system, which is also illustrated by DFT energy minimization and quantum-classical molecular dynamics using tight binding DFT. The resulting polar-covalent chemistry of the studied systems is complex and very sensitive to the instantaneous positions of all atoms as well as the ratio of concentrations of various resident atoms in the surface.

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