Ammonia borane (AB) has attracted significant attention due to its high hydrogen content (19.6% by mass). To investigate the reaction mechanism associated with the combustion of AB, a reactive force field (ReaxFF) has been developed for use in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The ReaxFF parameters have been derived directly from quantum mechanical data (QM). NVT-MD simulations of single- and polymolecular AB thermolysis were conducted in order to validate the force field. The release of the first equivalent H2 is a unimolecular reaction, and MD simulations show an activation energy of 26.36 kcal mol'1, which is in good agreement with experimental results. The release of the second H2 is also a unimolecular reaction; however, the release of a third H2 requires the formation of a B'N polymer. Similar simulations were conducted with a boron and oxygen system, since the oxidation of boron will be an integral step in AB combustion, and show good agreement with the established mechanism for this system. At low temperatures, boron atoms agglomerate into a cluster, which is oxidized at higher temperatures, eventually forming condensed and gas phase boron'oxide-species. These MD results provide confidence that ReaxFF can properly model the oxidation of AB and provide mechanistic insight into the AB dehydrogation and combustion reactions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry