This dissertation focuses on developing reliable and accurate computational techniques which enable the examination of static and dynamic properties of various activated phenomena using deterministic and stochastic approaches. To explore ultrafast electron dynamics in materials with strong electron-electron correlation, under the influence of a laser pulse, an ab initio electronic structure method based on time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) in combination with dynamical mean field theory (DMFT) is developed and applied to: 1) single-band Hubbard model; 2) multi-band metal Ni; and 3) multi-band insulator MnO. The ultrafast demagnetization in Ni reveal the importance of memory and correlation effects, leading to much better agreement with experimental data than previously obtained, while for MnO the main channels of charge response are identified. Furthermore, an analytical form of the exchange-correlation kernel is obtained for future applications, saving tremendous computational cost. In another project, size-dependent temporal and spatial evolution of homo- and hetero-epitaxial adatom islands on fcc(111) transition metals surfaces are investigated using the self-learning kinetic Monte Carlo (SLKMC) method that explores long-time dynamics unbiased by apriori selected diffusion processes. Novel multi-atom diffusion processes are revealed. Trends in the diffusion coefficients point to the relative role of adatom lateral interaction and island-substrate binding energy in determining island diffusivity. Moreover, analysis of the large data-base of the activation energy barriers generated for multitude of diffusion processes for variety of systems allows extraction of a set of descriptors that in turn generate predictive models for energy barrier evaluation. Finally, the kinetics of the industrially important methanol partial oxidation reaction on a model nanocatalyst is explored using KMC supplemented by DFT energetics. Calculated thermodynamics explores the active surface sites for reaction components including different intermediates and energetics of competing probable reaction pathways, while kinetic study attends to the selectivity of products and its variation with external factors.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Acharya, Shree Ram, "From Excited Charge Dynamics to Cluster Diffusion: Development and Application of Techniques Beyond DFT and KMC" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5837.