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Machine learning interatomic potentials for reactive hydrogen dynamics at metal surfaces based on iterative refinement of reaction probabilities

Wojciech G. StarkJulia WestermayrOscar A. Douglas-GallardoJames GardnerScott HabershonReinhard J. Maurer
Nov 2023
Reactive chemistry of molecular hydrogen at surfaces, notably dissociative sticking and hydrogen evolution, plays a crucial role in energy storage and fuel cells. Theoretical studies can help to decipher underlying mechanisms and reaction design, but studying dynamics at surfaces is computationally challenging due to the complex electronic structure at interfaces and the high sensitivity of dynamics to reaction barriers. In addition, ab initio molecular dynamics, based on density functional theory, is too computationally demanding to accurately predict reactive sticking or desorption probabilities as it requires averaging over tens of thousands of initial conditions. High-dimensional machine learning-based interatomic potentials are starting to be more commonly used in gas-surface dynamics, yet, robust approaches to generate reliable training data and to assess how model uncertainty affects the prediction of dynamic observables are not well established. Here, we employ ensemble learning to adaptively generate training data while assessing model performance with full uncertainty quantification for reaction probabilities of hydrogen scattering on different copper facets. We use this approach to investigate the performance of two message-passing neural networks, SchNet and PaiNN. Ensemble-based uncertainty quantification and iterative refinement allow us to expose the shortcomings of the invariant pairwise-distance-based feature representation in the SchNet model for gas-surface dynamics.
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