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Title: The ReaxFF reactive force-field: Development, applications, and future directions

The reactive force-field (ReaxFF) interatomic potential is a powerful computational tool for exploring, developing and optimizing material properties. Methods based on the principles of quantum mechanics (QM), while offering valuable theoretical guidance at the electronic level, are often too computationally intense for simulations that consider the full dynamic evolution of a system. Alternatively, empirical interatomic potentials that are based on classical principles require significantly fewer computational resources, which enables simulations to better describe dynamic processes over longer timeframes and on larger scales. Such methods, however, typically require a predefined connectivity between atoms, precluding simulations that involve reactive events. The ReaxFF method was developed to help bridge this gap. Approaching the gap from the classical side, ReaxFF casts the empirical interatomic potential within a bond-order formalism, thus implicitly describing chemical bonding without expensive QM calculations. As a result, this article provides an overview of the development, application, and future directions of the ReaxFF method.
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  1. Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States). Dept of Physics
  2. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)
  3. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States)
  4. Ghent Univ., Zwijnaarde (Belgium)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
npj Computational Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 2057-3960
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States