Multi-Scale Modelling Of Water And Hydroxide In Solids And Solutions

Author: Kersti Hermansson

This report discusses some of the most pressing challenges that need to be overcome for computational condensed matter chemistry to become fully accepted, at par with experiments. The prospects are rather bright. By means of a few examples, all connected to the bound water molecule and the hydroxide ion, and their mysteries, the unique capabilities of theoretical calculations to provide new insights and sometimes even surpass experiments in accuracy, will be demonstrated.

Contributions, Sec. Nat. Math. Biotech. Sci., MASA, 38 (1), 2017, pp 17–26
DOI: 10.20903/csnmbs.masa.2017.38.1.97

CO2 Hydration Shell Structure and Transformation

Authors: Samual R. Zukowski, Pavlin D. Mitev, Kersti Hermansson, and Dor Ben-Amotz

The hydration-shell of CO2 is characterized using Raman multivariate curve resolution (Raman-MCR) spectroscopy combined with ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) vibrational density of states simulations, to validate our assignment of the experimentally observed high-frequency OH band to a weak hydrogen bond between water and CO2. Our results reveal that while the hydration-shell of CO2 is highly tetrahedral, it is also occasionally disrupted by the presence of entropically stabilized defects associated with the CO2-water hydrogen bond. Moreover, we find that the hydration-shell of CO2 undergoes a temperature-dependent structural transformation to a highly disordered (less tetrahedral) structure, reminiscent of the transformation that takes place at higher temperatures around much larger oily molecules. The biological significance of the CO2 hydration shell structural transformation is suggested by the fact that it takes place near physiological temperatures.

J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 8 (13), 2017, pp 2971–2975
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b00971

Comparing van der Waals DFT methods for water on NaCl(001) and MgO(001)

Authors: Getachew G. Kebede, Daniel Spångberg, Pavlin D. Mitev, Peter Broqvist, and   Kersti Hermansson

In this work, a range of van der Waals type density functionals are applied to the H2O/NaCl(001) and H2O/MgO(001) interface systems to explore the effect of an explicit dispersion treatment. The functionals we use are the self-consistent vdW functionals vdW-DF, vdW-DF2, optPBE-vdW, optB88-vdW, optB86b-vdW, and vdW-DF-cx, as well as the dispersion-corrected PBE-TS and PBE-D2 methods; they are all compared with the standard PBE functional. For both NaCl(001) and MgO(001), we find that the dispersion-flavoured functionals stabilize the water-surface interface by approximately 20%-40% compared to the PBE results. For NaCl(001), where the water molecules remain intact for all overlayers, the dominant contribution to the adsorption energy from “density functional theory dispersion” stems from the water-surface interactions rather than the water-water interactions. The optPBE-vdW and vdW-DF-cx functionals yield adsorption energies in good agreement with available experimental values for both NaCl and MgO. To probe the strengths of the perturbations of the adsorbed water molecules, we also calculated water dipole moments and found an increase up to 85% for water at the MgO(001) surface and 70% at the NaCl(001) surface, compared to the gas-phase dipole moment.

The Journal of Chemical Physics 146, 064703 (2017);

Self-Consistent-Charge Density-Functional Tight-Binding (SCC-DFTB) Parameters for Ceria in 0D to 3D

Authors: Jolla Per Kullgren, Matthew Jason Wolf, Kersti Hermansson, Christof Köhler, Bálint Aradi, Thomas Frauenheim, and Peter Broqvist

Reducible oxides such as CeO2 are challanging to describe
with standard density functional theory (DFT) due to the mixed valence states of the cations, and often require the use of additional correction schemes, an
d/or more computationally expen- sive methods. This adds a new layer of complexity when it comes to the generation of Slater-Koster tables and the corresponding repulsive potentials for self-consistent density functional based tight binding (SCC-DFTB) calculations of such materials. In this work, we provide guidelines for how to set up a parameterisation scheme for mixed valence oxides within the SCC-DFTB framework, with a focus on reproducing structural and electronic properties as well as redox reaction energies calculated using a reference DFT method. This parameterisation procedure has been used to generate parameters for Ce–O interactions, with Ce in its +III or +IV formal oxidation states. The generated parameter set is validated through comparison to DFT calculations for various ceria (CeO2) and reduced ceria (CeO2−x ) systems of different dimensionalities ranging from 0D (nano-particles) to 3D (bulk). As oxygen vacancy defects in ceria are of crucial importance to many technological applications, special focus is directed towards the capability of describing such defects accurately.

J. Phys. Chem. C2017, 121 (8), pp 4593–4607
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b10557

Fluorine impurities at CeO2(111): Effects on oxygen vacancy formation, molecular adsorption, and surface re-oxidation

Authors: Matthew J. Wolf, Jolla Kullgren, Peter Broqvist, and Kersti Hermansson

We investigate the effects of anion doping with fluorine impurities on the chemistry of the CeO2 (111) facet, using the results of DFT + U calculations. We consider three prototypical processes: the formation of oxygen vacancies, the adsorption of O2 and H2O molecules, and the re-oxidation of the surface with fragments of the two molecules. We find that the first two of these processes are not strongly affected, but that the presence of F lowers the energy gained in the re-oxidation of the surface in comparison to the healing of an oxygen vacancy, by 1.47 eV in the case of O2 (provided that the F is part of a cluster) and by 0.92 eV in the case of H2O. Based on these results, we suggest that F could enhance the redox chemistry of ceria by toggling between being in the surfaceand on the surface, effectively facilitating the release of lattice O by acting as a “place holder” for it. Finally, we find that the desorption of F as either 1212F2 or HF is energetically unfavourable, suggesting that F doped ceria should be stable in the presence of O2 and H2O.
J. Chem. Phys. 2017, 146, 044703
DOI: 10.1063/1.4973239 

Subsurface hydrogen bonds at the polar Zn-terminated ZnO(0001) surface

Authors: Matti Hellström, Igor Beinik, Peter Broqvist, Jeppe V. Lauritsen, and Kersti Hermansson

The role of hydrogen and other defects in the stabilization of polar oxide interfaces is a matter of significant fundamental and practical interest. Using experimental (scanning tunneling microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy) and theoretical (density functional theory) surface science techniques, we find that the polar Zn-terminated ZnO(0001) surface becomes excessively Zn deficient during high-temperature annealing (780 K) in ultrahigh vacuum (UHV). The Zn vacancies align themselves into rows parallel to the [101 ̄0] direction,and the remaining surface Zn ions alternately occupy wurtzite (hcp) and zinc-blende (fcc) lattice positions, giving a characteristic “striped” c( sqrt(12) × sqrt(12))R30° surface morphology with three types of rows: wurtzite Zn, zinc-blende Zn, and Zn vacancies. Interstitial H plays a central role in such a reconstruction, as it helps to compensate the excessive Zn deficiency. We propose a model in which hydrogen occupies positions in half of the vacancy rows to form hydroxide ions that can participate in hydrogen bonds in the O subsurface layer as a result of the mixed wurtzite/zinc-blende stacking.

Phys. Rev. B, 2016, 94, 245433
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.94.245433

Bismuth Iodide Perovskite Materials for Solar Cell Applications: Electronic Structure, Optical Transitions and Directional Charge Transport

Authors: Meysam Pazoki, Malin B. Johansson, Huimin Zhu, Peter Broqvist, Tomas Edvinsson, Gerrit Boschloo, and Erik M. J. Johansson

Cesium and bismuth iodides (Cs3Bi2I9 and MA3Bi2I9) are new low-toxic and air stable compounds in the perovskite solar cell family with promising characteristics. Here, the electronic structure and the nature of their optical transitions, dielectric constant, and charge carrier properties are assessed for photovoltaic applications with density functional theory (DFT) calculations and experiments. The calculated direct and indirect band gap values for Cs3Bi2I9(2.17 and 2.0 eV) and MA3Bi2I9 (2.17 and 1.97 eV) are found to be in good agreement with the experimental optical band gaps (2.2, 2.0 eV and 2.4, 2.1 eV for Cs3Bi2I9 and MA3Bi2I9, respectively) estimated for solution-processed films. There is an error cancelation in the DFT calculated band gap similar to that for lead perovskites. However, fully relativistic DFT calculations indicate that the size of the spin orbit coupling (SOC) error cancelation for bismuth perovskite (0.5 eV) is less than for lead perovskite (1 eV), and other factors are therefore also important. Band structure calculations show high effective masses of the charge carriers along the c-axis but on the other hand lower electron effective mass in the ab planes, revealing the interesting possibility for a directional charge transport. Calculations of dielectric constants, absorption coefficients, carrier effective masses, and exciton binding energies emphasize the fundamental differences between the lead and bismuth iodide perovskites and clarify the reasons behind the lower power conversion efficiency of bismuth iodide perovskite solar cells. Also the calculations show that the orientational disorder of the MA dipoles in the lattice has meaningful impacts on the near valence and conduction band edge of the electronic structure.

J. Phys. Chem. C, 2016, 120 (51), pp 29039–29046
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b11745

Detecting Important Intermediates in Pd Catalyzed Depolymerization of a Lignin Model Compound by a Combination of DFT Calculations and Constrained Minima Hopping

Authors: Pemikar Srifa, Maxim V. Galkin, Joseph S. M. Samec, Kersti Hermansson, and Peter Broqvist

Density functional theory (DFT) calculations, combined with a constrained minima hopping algorithm (global minimum search while preserving the molecular identity), have been performed to investigate important reaction intermediates for the heterogeneously catalyzed β-O-4′ bond cleavage in lignin derivatives. More specifically, we have studied the adsorption properties of a keto tautomer (1-methoxypropan-2-one) and its enol form on a catalytically active Pd(111) surface. In agreement with experiments, we find that for the gas-phase molecules the keto tautomer is the most stable. Interestingly, the enol tautomer has a higher affinity to the Pd catalyst than the keto form, and becomes the most stable molecular form when adsorbed on the catalyst surface. The global minimum complex found on the metal surface corresponds to an enolate structure formed when the enol tautomer chemisorbs onto the surface and donates its π-electrons from the C═C region to two adjacent palladium atoms. The actual formation of a chemical bond to the surface in the case of the enol molecule could be the key to understanding why the enol derivative is needed for an efficient β-O-4′ bond cleavage.

J. Phys. Chem. C, 2016, 120 (41), pp 23469–23479
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b05622

Engineering Polarons at a Metal Oxide Surface

Authors: C. M. Yim, M. B. Watkins, M. J. Wolf, C. L. Pang, K. Hermansson, and G. Thornton

Engineering Polarons Figure 1Polarons in metal oxides are important in processes such as catalysis, high temperature superconductivity, and dielectric breakdown in nanoscale electronics. Here, we study the behavior of electron small polarons associated with oxygen vacancies at rutile TiO2(110), using a combination of low temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), density functional theory, and classical molecular dynamics calculations. We find that the electrons are symmetrically distributed around isolated vacancies at 78 K, but as the temperature is reduced, their distributions become increasingly asymmetric, confirming their polaronic nature. By manipulating isolated vacancies with the STM tip, we show that particular configurations of polarons are preferred for given locations of the vacancies, which we ascribe to small residual electric fields in the surface. We also form a series of vacancy complexes and manipulate the Ti ions surrounding them, both of which change the associated electronic distributions. Thus, we demonstrate that the configurations of polarons can be engineered, paving the way for the construction of conductive pathways relevant to resistive switching devices.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 116402, (2016)

H-bond and electric field correlations for water in highly hydrated crystals

Authors: Anik Sen, Pavlin D. Mitev, Anders Eriksson, and Kersti Hermansson

H2O-EFWe present periodic plane-wave density functional theory (DFT) Perdew–
Burke–Ernzerhof (PBE-D2) calculations for four highly hydrated crystals, Na2CO3·10H2O, MgSO4·7H2O, MgSO4·11H2O, and Al(NO3)3·9H2O, containing 37 structurally unique water molecules and 74 unique hydrogen bonds. The calculated R(H···O) distances lie in the range 1.60–2.05 Å, the anharmonic OH frequencies in the range 2570–3425 cm−1, and the water dipole moments lie in the range 2.9–4.3 Debye, as calculated from the Wannier function centers and the nuclei. We present the following findings. (i) Our optimized intramolecular r(OH) distances are always larger than the gas-phase value and thus more accurate than those derived from neutron diffraction experiments; (ii) The local in situ electric field over the molecule, calculated from the positions of the nuclei and the Wannier centers in the surrounding crystal, appears to be a good descriptor of the pertturbation from the water molecule’s surroundings as the internal molecular properties (re, ν, μ) are found to correlate well with the crystal-generated electric field; (iii) We have added DFT-calculated data points to the well-known experimental ‘OH frequency versus R(H···O)’ correlation curve in a region where the experimental data points are scarce; (iv) For all 37 water molecules, the Wannier centers located in the lone-pair region, and those located in the OH bonds, displace about equally much due to the polarizing environment. Finally, we propose that our resulting ‘OH frequency versus Wannier-type electric field’ correlation curve may constitute a useful tool for predicting OH vibrational frequencies from snapshots from PBE-D2-based ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of water-containing systems.

International Journal of Quantum Chemistry, 116, ( 2016), 67-80
DOI: 10.1002/qua.25022