An 'On-the-Fly' Deep Neural Network for Simulating Time-Resolved Spectroscopy: Predicting the Ultrafast Ring-Opening Dynamics of 1,2-Dithiane

Clelia Middleton, Conor D Rankine, Thomas J Penfold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Revolutionary developments in ultrafast light source technology are enabling experimental spectroscopists to probe the structural dynamics of molecules and materials on the femtosecond timescale. The capacity to investigate ultrafast processes afforded by these resources accordingly inspires theoreticians to carry out high-level simulations which facilitate the interpretation of the underlying dynamics probed during these ultrafast experiments. In this Article, we implement a deep neural network (DNN) to convert excited-state molecular dynamics simulations into time-resolved spectroscopic signals. Our DNN is trained on-the-fly from first-principles theoretical data obtained from a set of time-evolving molecular dynamics. The train-test process iterates for each time-step of the dynamics data until the network can predict spectra with sufficient accuracy to replace the computationally intensive quantum chemistry calculations required to produce them, at which point it simulates the time-resolved spectra for longer timescales. The potential of this approach is demonstrated by probing dynamics of the ring opening of 1,2-dithiane using sulphur K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy. The benefits of this strategy will be more markedly apparent for simulations of larger systems which will exhibit a more notable computational burden, making this approach applicable to the study of a diverse range of complex chemical dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13325-13334
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2023

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