Hydrogen atom scattering on metal surfaces is investigated based on a simplified Newns–Anderson model. Both the nuclear and electronic degrees of freedom are treated quantum mechanically. By partitioning all the surface electronic states as the bath, the hierarchical equations of motion method for the fermionic bath is employed to simulate the scattering dynamics. It is found that, with a reasonable set of parameters, the main features of the recent experimental studies of hydrogen atom scattering on metal surfaces can be reproduced. Vibrational states on the chemisorption state whose energies are close to the incident energy are found to play an important role, and the scattering process is dominated by a single-pass electronic transition forth and back between the diabatic physisorption and chemisorption states. Further study on the effects of the atom-surface coupling strength reveals that, upon increasing the atom-surface coupling strength, the scattering mechanism changes from typical nonadiabatic transitions to dynamics in the electronic friction regime.

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