Out-of-equilibrium catalysis of chemical reactions by electronic tunnel currents

Dzhioev, Alan A., Kosov, Daniel S., and von Oppen, Felix (2013) Out-of-equilibrium catalysis of chemical reactions by electronic tunnel currents. Journal of Chemical Physics, 138 (13). 134103. pp. 1-9.

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We present an escape rate theory for current-induced chemical reactions. We use Keldysh nonequilibrium Green's functions to derive a Langevin equation for the reaction coordinate. Due to the out of equilibrium electronic degrees of freedom, the friction, noise, and effective temperature in the Langevin equation depend locally on the reaction coordinate. As an example, we consider the dissociation of diatomic molecules induced by the electronic current from a scanning tunnelling microscope tip. In the resonant tunnelling regime, the molecular dissociation involves two processes which are intricately interconnected: a modification of the potential energy barrier and heating of the molecule. The decrease of the molecular barrier (i.e., the current induced catalytic reduction of the barrier) accompanied by the appearance of the effective, reaction-coordinate-dependent temperature is an alternative mechanism for current-induced chemical reactions, which is distinctly different from the usual paradigm of pumping vibrational degrees of freedom.

Item ID: 26189
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1089-7690
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2013 01:56
FoR Codes: 02 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 0202 Atomic, Molecular, Nuclear, Particle and Plasma Physics > 020201 Atomic and Molecular Physics @ 50%
03 CHEMICAL SCIENCES > 0307 Theoretical and Computational Chemistry > 030704 Statistical Mechanics in Chemistry @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences @ 100%
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