On the role of disorder in catalysis driven by discrete breathers

V.I. Dubinko, F. Piazza
Received: 15 December 2014; Accepted: 30 December 2014
Citation: V.I. Dubinko, F. Piazza. On the role of disorder in catalysis driven by discrete breathers. Letters on Materials, 2014, 4(4) 273-278
BibTex   DOI: 10.22226/2410-3535-2014-4-273-278

Abstract

A new mechanism of catalysis is discussed, which is based on the rate-promoting effect of large-amplitude anharmonic lattice vibrations, a.k.a. intrinsic localized modes or ‘discrete breathers’ (DBs), which can excite atoms at specific ‘active sites’ rather strongly, giving them energy far exceeding the energy of thermal vibrations for hundreds of oscillation periods. The DB-induced modulation of activation energies (free energy barriers between reactants and products) results in a drastic amplification of the reaction rates, which can be described by a simple analytical expression in the adiabatic limit. The striking site selectiveness of DB excitation dynamics in the presence of spatial (quenched) disorder makes these nonlinear vibrations viable candidates to play the role of ‘active modes’ in the catalytic process in various physical, chemical and biological systems.

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