Generalized Temporal Acceleration Scheme for Kinetic Monte Carlo Simulations of Surface Catalytic Processes by Scaling the Rates of Fast Reactions

A novel algorithm is presented that achieves temporal acceleration during kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) simulations of surface catalytic processes. This algorithm allows for the direct simulation of reaction networks containing kinetic processes occurring on vastly disparate time scales which computationally overburden standard KMC methods. Previously developed methods for temporal acceleration in KMC were designed for specific systems and often require a priori information from the user such as identifying the fast and slow processes. In the approach presented herein, quasi-equilibrated processes are identified automatically based on previous executions of the forward and reverse reactions. Temporal acceleration is achieved by automatically scaling the intrinsic rate constants of the quasi-equilibrated processes, bringing their rates closer to the time scales of the slow kinetically relevant nonequilibrated processes. All reactions are still simulated directly, although with modified rate constants. Abrupt changes in the underlying dynamics of the reaction network are identified during the simulation, and the reaction rate constants are rescaled accordingly. The algorithm was utilized here to model the Fischer–Tropsch synthesis reaction over ruthenium nanoparticles. This reaction network has multiple time-scale-disparate processes which would be intractable to simulate without the aid of temporal acceleration. The accelerated simulations are found to give reaction rates and selectivities indistinguishable from those calculated by an equivalent mean-field kinetic model. The computational savings of the algorithm can span many orders of magnitude in realistic systems, and the computational cost is not limited by the magnitude of the time scale disparity in the system processes. Furthermore, the algorithm has been designed in a generic fashion and can easily be applied to other surface catalytic processes of interest.