Coherent switching with decay of mixing: an improved treatment of electronic coherence for non-Born-Oppenheimer trajectories.

Research paper by Chaoyuan C Zhu, Shikha S Nangia, Ahren W AW Jasper, Donald G DG Truhlar

Indexed on: 16 Oct '04Published on: 16 Oct '04Published in: The Journal of chemical physics


The self-consistent decay-of-mixing (SCDM) semiclassical trajectory method for electronically nonadiabatic dynamics is improved by modifying the switching probability that determines the instantaneous electronic state toward which the system decoheres. This method is called coherent switching with decay of mixing (CSDM), and it differs from the previously presented SCDM method in that the electronic amplitudes controlling the switching of the decoherent state are treated fully coherently in the electronic equations of motion for each complete passage through a strong interaction region. It is tested against accurate quantum mechanical calculations for 12 atom-diatom scattering test cases. Also tested are the SCDM method and the trajectory surface hopping method of Parlant and Gislason that requires coherent passages through each strong interaction region, and which we call the "exact complete passage" trajectory surface hopping (ECP-TSH) method. The results are compared with previously presented results for the fewest switches with time uncertainty and Tully's fewest switches (TFS) surface hopping methods and the semiclassical Ehrenfest method. We find that the CSDM method is the most accurate of the semiclassical trajectory methods tested. Including coherent passages improves the accuracy of the SCDM method (i.e., the CSDM method is more accurate than the SCDM method) but not of the trajectory surface hopping method (i.e., the ECP-TSH method is not more accurate on average than the TFS method).