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A kinetic Monte Carlo approach to diffusion-controlled thermal desorption spectroscopy

T. Schablitzki, J. Rogal, R. Drautz.

Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A, 375, 20160404, (2017)

Atomistic simulations of thermal desorption spectra for effusion from bulk materials to characterize binding or trapping sites are a challenging task as large system sizes as well as extended time scales are required. Here, we introduce an approach where we combine kinetic Monte Carlo with an analytic approximation of the superbasins within the framework of absorbing Markov chains. We apply our approach to the effusion of hydrogen from BCC iron, where the diffusion within bulk grains is coarse grained using absorbing Markov chains, which provide an exact solution of the dynamics within a superbasin. Our analytic approximation to the superbasin is transferable with respect to grain size and elliptical shapes and can be applied in simulations with constant temperature as well as constant heating rate. The resulting thermal desorption spectra are in close agreement with direct kinetic Monte Carlo simulations, but the calculations are computationally much more efficient. Our approach is thus applicable to much larger system sizes and provides a first step towards an atomistic understanding of the influence of structural features on the position and shape of peaks in thermal desorption spectra.

DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2016.0404
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