Lyu W., Naik S., Wiggins S.
The Role of Depth and Flatness of a Potential Energy Surface in Chemical Reaction Dynamics
2020, vol. 25, no. 5, pp. 453-475
In this study, we analyze how changes in the geometry of a potential energy surface in terms of depth and flatness can affect the reaction dynamics.We formulate depth and flatness in the context of one and two degree-of-freedom (DOF) Hamiltonian normal form for the saddlenode bifurcation and quantify their influence on chemical reaction dynamics [1, 2]. In a recent work, García-Garrido et al.  illustrated how changing the well-depth of a potential energy surface (PES) can lead to a saddle-node bifurcation. They have shown how the geometry of cylindrical manifolds associated with the rank-1 saddle changes en route to the saddle-node bifurcation. Using the formulation presented here, we show how changes in the parameters of the potential energy control the depth and flatness and show their role in the quantitative measures of a chemical reaction. We quantify this role of the depth and flatness by calculating the ratio of the bottleneck width and well width, reaction probability (also known as transition fraction or population fraction), gap time (or first passage time) distribution, and directional flux through the dividing surface (DS) for small to high values of total energy. The results obtained for these quantitative measures are in agreement with the qualitative understanding of the reaction dynamics.