An off-lattice, self-learning kinetic Monte Carlo method using local environments.

10 Jun 2019

We present a method called local environment kinetic Monte Carlo (LE-KMC) method for efficiently performing off-lattice, self-learning kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) simulations of activated processes in material systems. Like other off-lattice KMC schemes, new atomic processes can be found on-the-fly in LE-KMC. However, a unique feature of LE-KMC is that as long as the assumption that all processes and rates depend only on the local environment is satisfied, LE-KMC provides a general algorithm for (i) unambiguously describing a process in terms of its local atomic environments, (ii) storing new processes and environments in a catalog for later use with standard KMC, and (iii) updating the system based on the local information once a process has been selected for a KMC move. Search, classification, storage and retrieval steps needed while employing local environments and processes in the LE-KMC method are discussed. The advantages and computational cost of LE-KMC are discussed. We assess the performance of the LE-KMC algorithm by considering test systems involving diffusion in a submonolayer Ag and Ag-Cu alloy films on Ag(001) surface.