Dynamical matching occurs in a variety of important organic chemical reactions. It is observed to be a result of a potential energy surface (PES) having specific geometric features. In particular, a region of relative flatness where entrance and exit to this region is controlled by index-one saddles. Examples of potential energy surfaces having these features are the so-called caldera potential energy surfaces. We develop a predictive level of understanding of the phenomenon of dynamical matching in a caldera potential energy surface. We show that the phase space structure that governs dynamical matching is a particular type of heteroclinic trajectory which gives rise to trapping of trajectories in the central region of the caldera PES. When the heteroclinic trajectory is broken, as a result of parameter variations, then dynamical matching occurs.
- Caldera potential energy surface
- Dynamical matching
- Heteroclinic trajectories
- Unstable periodic orbits