Demontis, Pierfranco and Suffritti, Giuseppe Baldovino and Tilocca, Antonio (1999) Molecular dynamics simulation of an activated transfer reaction in zeolites. The Journal of Chemical Physics, Vol. 111 (12), p. 5529-5543. eISSN 1089-7690. Article.
The activated transfer of a light particle between two heavier species in the micropores of silicalite and ZK4 zeolites has been studied through molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. A three-body potential controls the exchange of the light particle between the heavier ones; an effective barrier of a few kBT separates the two stable regions corresponding to symmetric "reactant" and "product" species. Harmonic forces always retain the reactants at favorable distances so that in principle only the energetic requirement must be fulfilled for the transfer to occur. The rate constant for the process (obtained from a correlation analysis of equilibrium MD trajectories) decreases by more than one order of magnitude when the barrier height is increased from 2kBT to 5kBT following an Arrhenius-type behavior. The transfer rates are always lower in ZK4. When the reaction is studied in a liquid solvent the calculated rate constants are closer to those obtained in silicalite. Since with this model the diffusive approach of the reactants is almost irrelevant on the reactive dynamics, only the different ability of each environment to transfer the appropriate energy amount to the reactants and then promote the barrier passage could be invoked to explain the observed behavior. We found that structural, rather than energetic, effects are mainly involved on this point. The lower efficiency of ZK4 seems to arise from the frequent trapping of the reactive complex in the narrow ZK4 windows in which the transfer is forbidden and from the weaker interaction of the reactive complex with the host framework compared to silicalite.
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