skip to main content


Title: A practical approach to the sensitivity analysis for kinetic Monte Carlo simulation of heterogeneous catalysis

Lattice kinetic Monte Carlo simulations have become a vital tool for predictive quality atomistic understanding of complex surface chemical reaction kinetics over a wide range of reaction conditions. In order to expand their practical value in terms of giving guidelines for atomic level design of catalytic systems, it is very desirable to readily evaluate a sensitivity analysis for a given model. The result of such a sensitivity analysis quantitatively expresses the dependency of the turnover frequency, being the main output variable, on the rate constants entering the model. In the past the application of sensitivity analysis, such as Degree of Rate Control, has been hampered by its exuberant computational effort required to accurately sample numerical derivatives of a property that is obtained from a stochastic simulation method. Here in this study we present an efficient and robust three stage approach that is capable of reliably evaluating the sensitivity measures for stiff microkinetic models as we demonstrate using CO oxidation on RuO 2(110) as a prototypical reaction. In a first step, we utilize the Fisher Information Matrix for filtering out elementary processes which only yield negligible sensitivity. Then we employ an estimator based on linear response theory for calculating the sensitivitymore » measure for non-critical conditions which covers the majority of cases. Finally we adopt a method for sampling coupled finite differences for evaluating the sensitivity measure of lattice based models. This allows efficient evaluation even in critical regions near a second order phase transition that are hitherto difficult to control. The combined approach leads to significant computational savings over straightforward numerical derivatives and should aid in accelerating the nano scale design of heterogeneous catalysts.« less
 [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [3]
  1. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States). SUNCAT Center for Interface Science and Catalysis; Stanford Univ., CA (United States). Dept. of Chemical Engineering
  2. Technische Univ. Munchen, Garching (Germany). Chair of Theoretical Chemistry
  3. Freie Univ., Berlin (Germany). Inst. for Mathematics
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Chemical Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 146; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 0021-9606
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; Einstein Foundation Berlin
Country of Publication:
United States
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; stochastic simulation; kinetic Monte Carlo; sensitivity analysis; linear response; heterogeneous catalysis; Degree of Rate Control
OSTI Identifier: