Construction of a coarse-grain quasi-classical trajectory method. II. Comparison against the direct molecular simulation method

R. L. Macdonald, M. S. Grover, T. E. Schwartzentruber, M. Panesi

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This work presents the analysis of non-equilibrium energy transfer and dissociation of nitrogen molecules (N2(Σg+1)) using two different approaches: the direct molecular simulation (DMS) method and the coarse-grain quasi-classical trajectory (CG-QCT) method. The two methods are used to study thermochemical relaxation in a zero-dimensional isochoric and isothermal reactor in which the nitrogen molecules are heated to several thousand degrees Kelvin, forcing the system into strong non-equilibrium. The analysis considers thermochemical relaxation for temperatures ranging from 10 000 to 25 000 K. Both methods make use of the same potential energy surface for the N2(Σg+1)-N2(Σg+1) system taken from the NASA Ames quantum chemistry database. Within the CG-QCT method, the rovibrational energy levels of the electronic ground state of the nitrogen molecule are lumped into a reduced number of bins. Two different grouping strategies are used: the more conventional vibrational-based grouping, widely used in the literature, and energy-based grouping. The analysis of both the internal state populations and concentration profiles show excellent agreement between the energy-based grouping and the DMS solutions. During the energy transfer process, discrepancies arise between the energy-based grouping and DMS solution due to the increased importance of mode separation for low energy states. By contrast, the vibrational grouping, traditionally considered state-of-the-art, captures well the behavior of the energy relaxation but fails to consistently predict the dissociation process. The deficiency of the vibrational grouping model is due to the assumption of strict mode separation and equilibrium of rotational energy states. These assumptions result in errors predicting the energy contribution to dissociation from the rotational and vibrational modes, with rotational energy actually contributing 30%-40% of the energy required to dissociate a molecule. This work confirms the findings discussed in Paper I [R. L. Macdonald et al., J. Chem. Phys. 148, 054309 (2018)], which underlines the importance of rotational energy to the dissociation process, and demonstrates that an accurate non-equilibrium chemistry model must accurately predict the deviation of rovibrational distribution from equilibrium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number054310
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 7 2018

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