Dynamics and kinetics of reversible homo-molecular dimerization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Qian Mao, Yihua Ren, K. H. Luo, Adri C.T. Van Duin

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32 Scopus citations


Physical dimerization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) has been investigated via molecular dynamics (MD) simulation with the ReaxFF reactive force field that is developed to bridge the gap between the quantum mechanism and classical MD. Dynamics and kinetics of homo-molecular PAH collision under different temperatures, impact parameters, and orientations are studied at an atomic level, which is of great value to understand and model the PAH dimerization. In the collision process, the enhancement factors of homo-molecular dimerizations are quantified and found to be larger at lower temperatures or with smaller PAH instead of size independent. Within the capture radius, the lifetime of the formed PAH dimer decreases as the impact parameter increases. Temperature and PAH characteristic dependent forward and reverse rate constants of homo-molecular PAH dimerization are derived from MD simulations, on the basis of which a reversible model is developed. This model can predict the tendency of PAH dimerization as validated by pyrene dimerization experiments [H. Sabbah et al., J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 1(19), 2962 (2010)]. Results from this study indicate that the physical dimerization cannot be an important source under the typical flame temperatures and PAH concentrations, which implies a more significant role played by the chemical route.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number244305
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 28 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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