# Item

ITEM ACTIONSEXPORT

Released

Journal Article

#### Random force in molecular dynamics with electronic friction

##### MPS-Authors

##### External Resource

No external resources are shared

##### Fulltext (restricted access)

There are currently no full texts shared for your IP range.

##### Fulltext (public)

3349485.pdf

(Publisher version), 2MB

##### Supplementary Material (public)

There is no public supplementary material available

##### Citation

Hertl, N., Martin-Barrios, R., Galparsoro, O., Larrégaray, P., Auerbach, D. J., Schwarzer, D., et al. (2021).
Random force in molecular dynamics with electronic friction.* The Journal of Physical Chemistry C,*
*125*(26), 14468-14473. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcc.1c03436.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-73BD-1

##### Abstract

Originally conceived to describe thermal diffusion, the Langevin equation includes both a frictional drag and a random force, the latter representing thermal fluctuations first seen as Brownian motion. The random force is crucial for the diffusion problem as it explains why friction does not simply bring the system to a standstill. When using the Langevin equation to describe ballistic motion, the importance of the random force is less obvious and it is often omitted, for example, in theoretical treatments of hot ions and atoms interacting with metals. Here, friction results from electronic nonadiabaticity (electronic friction), and the random force arises from thermal electron–hole pairs. We show the consequences of omitting the random force in the dynamics of H-atom scattering from metals. We compare molecular dynamics simulations based on the Langevin equation to experimentally derived energy loss distributions. Despite the fact that the incidence energy is much larger than the thermal energy and the scattering time is only about 25 fs, the energy loss distribution fails to reproduce the experiment if the random force is neglected. Neglecting the random force is an even more severe approximation than freezing the positions of the metal atoms or modelling the lattice vibrations as a generalized Langevin oscillator. This behavior can be understood by considering analytic solutions to the Ornstein–Uhlenbeck process, where a ballistic particle experiencing friction decelerates under the influence of thermal fluctuations.