Tag Archives: Kersti Hermansson

Thermodynamics of dissociated water motifs at oxide-bulk water interfaces: The TiO2 anatase (0 0 1) case

Authors: Giuseppe Zollo, Kersti Hermansson, and Lorenzo Agosta

Water on metal oxides interfaces generate a variety of ordered motifs that depend on the structural properties of the exposed solid surfaces. Here we emphasize the importance of considering the thermodynamic state of the surrounding liquid to find the interface structures in real systems. In particular, using ab initio molecular dynamics, we have studied the thermodynamic behavior of the water induced reconstructed (WIR) anatase (0 0 1) surface under full hydration. The long standing issue of the reconstruction symmetry in this facet of the anatase, that is the TiO2 stable phase at the nanoscale, is addressed showing that the stable state for a WIR surface in vacuum and in bulk water are different, the latter depending on the thermodynamic state of the system. Thermally activated surface phase transitions between (2×4) and (2×3) symmetries are lead by the surface relaxation caused by the molecular adsorption and release phenomena at the interface. Our approach enables the validation to aqueous environment of surface-confined water structures derived in vacuum, emphasizing the role of the thermodynamics conditions for characterizing solid-liquid interfaces especially for nano sized systems.

Applied Surface Science, 550, 2021, 149354


Supercooled liquid-like dynamics in water near a fully hydrated titania surface: Decoupling of rotational and translational diffusion

Authors: Lorenzo Agosta, Mikhail Dzugutov, and Kersti Hermansson

We report an ab initio molecular dynamics (MD) simulation investigating the effect of a fully hydrated surface of TiO2 on the water dynamics. It is found that the universal relation between the rotational and translational diffusion characteristics of bulk water is broken in the water layers near the surface with the rotational diffusion demonstrating progressive retardation relative to the translational diffusion when approaching the surface. This kind of rotation–translation decoupling has so far only been observed in the supercooled liquids approaching glass transition, and its observation in water at a normal liquid temperature is of conceptual interest. This finding is also of interest for the application-significant studies of the water interaction with fully hydrated nanoparticles. We note that this is the first observation of rotation–translation decoupling in an ab initio MD simulation of water.

J. Chem. Phys. 154, 094708 (2021)


Lignin Intermediates on Palladium: Insights into Keto‐Enol Tautomerization from Theoretical Modelling

Authors: Ageo Meier de Andrade, Pemikar Srifa, Peter Broqvist, and Kersti Hermansson

It has been suggested in the literature that keto‐to‐enol tautomerization plays a vital role for lignin fragmentation under mild conditions. On the other hand, previous modelling has shown that the adsorbed keto form is more stable than enol on the Pd(111) catalyst. The current density functional theory study of lignin model molecules shows that, in the gas‐phase, keto is more stable than enol, but on the Pd surface, we find enol conformers that are at least as stable as keto. This supports the experimental result that the favourable reaction pathway for lignin depolymerization involves keto‐enol tautomerization. An energy decomposition analysis gives insights concerning the origin of the fine energy balance between the keto and enol forms, where the molecule–surface interaction (−7 eV) and the molecular strain energy (+3 eV) are the main contributors to the adsorption energy.

ChemSusChem, 2020, 13, 6574-6581


The water/ceria(111) interface: Computational overview and new structures

Authors: Andreas Röckert, Jolla Kullgren, Peter Broqvist, Seif Alwan, and Kersti Hermansson
Thin film structures of water on the CeO2(111) surface for coverages between 0.5 and 2.0 water monolayers have been optimized and analyzed using density functional theory (optPBE-vdW functional). We present a new 1.0 ML structure that is both the lowest in energy published and features a hydrogen-bond network extending the surface in one-dimension, contrary to what has been found in the literature, and contrary to what has been expected due to the large bulk ceria cell dimension. The adsorption energies for the monolayer and multilayered water structures agree well with experimental temperature programmed desorption results from the literature, and we discuss the stability window of CeO2(111) surfaces covered with 0.5–2.0 ML of water.

Identification of High‐Performance Single‐Atom MXenes Catalysts for Low‐Temperature CO Oxidation

Authors: Cheng Cheng, Xilin Zhang, Zongxian Yang and Kersti Hermansson

On the basis of first‐principles calculations, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ru, Rh, Ag, Ir, Pt, and Au decorated Mo2CO2δ monolayers are investigated as potential single‐atom catalyst (SAC) candidates for low‐temperature CO oxidation reaction. From a first screening based on intuitive criteria concerning metal sintering, CO poisoning, and O2 adsorption strength, the Zn/Mo2CO2δ system is selected for further scrutiny by means of reactivity calculations for different CO concentrations. A lower barrier is found for Eley–Rideal reaction mechanism than for the Langmuir–Hinshelwood mechanism. The low Eley–Rideal barrier (0.15 eV) is attributed to the fact that the Zn atom weakens the O‐O bond considerably and the electrophilic attack of CO weakens it further. The main conclusion is that this system is a promising low‐temperature SAC candidate with a lower energy barrier for CO oxidation than noble metal and other 2D SAC systems investigated.

Adv. Theory Simul., 2019, 2: 1900006.


Anion-mediated electronic effects in reducible oxides: Tuning the valence band of ceria via fluorine doping

Authors:  Miroslav Kettner,  Tomáš Duchoň,  Matthew J. Wolf,  Jolla Kullgren,  Sanjaya D. Senanayake,  Kersti Hermansson,  Kateřina Veltruská, and  Václav Nehasil

Combining experimental spectroscopy and hybrid density functional theory calculations, we show that the incorporation of fluoride ions into a prototypical reducible oxide surface, namely, ceria(111), can induce a variety of nontrivial changes to the local electronic structure, beyond the expected increase in the number of Ce3+ ions. Our resonant photoemission spectroscopy results reveal new states above, within, and below the valence band, which are unique to the presence of fluoride ions at the surface. With the help of hybrid density functional calculations, we show that the different states arise from fluoride ions in different atomic layers in the near surface region. In particular, we identify a structure in which a fluoride ion substitutes for an oxygen ion at the surface, with a second fluoride ion on top of a surface Ce4+ ion giving rise to F 2p states which overlap the top of the O 2p band. The nature of this adsorbate F–Ce4+ resonant enhancement feature suggests that this bond is at least partially covalent. Our results demonstrate the versatility of anion doping as a potential means of tuning the valence band electronic structure of ceria.

J. Chem. Phys. 151, 044701 (2019)


Effects of H-bond asymmetry on the electronic properties of liquid water – An AIMD analysis

Authors: Imre Bakó, János Daru, Szilvia Pothoczk, László Pusztai and Kersti Hermansson

The effects of an asymmetric environment on the electronic properties of a water molecule in liquid water are in focus in this paper and were analysed from ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of liquid water at 300 and 350 K with the BLYP-D3 functional. We make the following observations. (1) The electronic DOS and the net molecular charge are more affected by the asymmetry of the water molecule's H-bond surroundings than by the number of H-bonded neighbours. The reverse is true for the dipole moment. (2) For all three properties, a 3-coordinated water molecule is more perturbed by accepting two H-bonds and donating one than by donating two and accepting one. (3) This order is not maintained in the calculated XES spectrum, which is less straightforward to interpret in terms of structure-property relationships than the DOS spectrum.

Journal of Molecular Liquids, Vol 293, 2019, p. 111579



From Ceria Clusters to Nanoparticles: Superoxides and Supercharging

Authors: Dou Du, J. Kullgren, K. Hermansson and P. Broqvist

Several studies have reported a dramatically increased oxygen storage capacity (OSC) for small ceria nanoparticles (∼5 nm). Both experiments and theory have correlated this effect with superoxide ion formation. In previous studies, density functional theory (DFT) calculations with the PBE+U density functional have been used, and the obtained results were only in qualitative agreement with the experimental observations. One severe problem is the underbinding of the O2 molecule upon superoxide ion formation, which suggests that such species should not exist above room temperature. In this work, we use hybrid DFT functional to resolve this problem. We find that the discrepancy between theory and experiment originates from an incorrect estimate of the energy associated with the localized f-electrons with respect to the oxygen p-levels. By using average O2 adsorption energies from hybrid DFT calculations, extrapolated to large nanoparticles (3−10 nm), in conjunction with first-order desorption kinetics, we find that superoxide ions are indeed stable on nanosized ceria well above room temperature, in accordance with experiments.

Multiscale Modeling of Agglomerated Ceria Nanoparticles: Interface Stability and Oxygen Vacancy Formation

Authors: Byung-Hyun Kim, Jolla Kullgren, Matthew J. Wolf, Kersti Hermansson and Peter Broqvist

The interface formation and its effect on redox processes in agglomerated ceria nanoparticles (NPs) have been investigated using a multiscale simulation approach with standard density functional theory (DFT), the self-consistent-charge density functional tight binding (SCC-DFTB) method, and a DFT-parameterized reactive force-field (ReaxFF). In particular, we have modeled Ce40O80 NP pairs, using SCC-DFTB and DFT, and longer chains and networks formed by Ce40O80 or Ce132O264 NPs, using ReaxFF molecular dynamics simulations. We find that the most stable {111}/{111} interface structure is coherent whereas the stable {100}/{100} structures can be either coherent or incoherent. The formation of {111}/{111} interfaces is found to have only a very small effect on the oxygen vacancy formation energy, Evac. The opposite holds true for {100}/{100} interfaces, which exhibit significantly lower Evac values than the bare surfaces, despite the fact that the interface formation eliminates reactive {100} facets. Our results pave the way for an increased understanding of ceria NP agglomeration.

Front. Chem., Vol. 7, article id 203,  22 May 2019


Fifty Shades of Water: Benchmarking DFT Functionals against Experimental Data for Ionic Crystalline Hydrates

Authors: Getachew Kebede, Peter Broqvist, Anders Eriksson, and Kersti Hermansson

We propose that crystalline ionic hydrates constitute a valuable resource for benchmarking theoretical methods for aqueous ionic systems. Many such structures are known from the experimental literature, and they contain a large variety of water–water and ion–water structural motifs. Here we have collected a data set (CRYSTALWATER50) of 50 structurally unique “in-crystal” water molecules, involved in close to 100 nonequivalent O–H···O hydrogen bonds. A dozen well-known DFT functionals were benchmarked with respect to their ability to describe these experimental structures and their OH vibrational frequencies. We find that the PBE, RPBE-D3, and optPBE-vdW methods give the best H-bond distances and that anharmonic OH frequencies generated from B3LYP//optPBE-vdW energy scans outperform the other methods, i.e., here we performed B3LYP energy scans along the OH stretching coordinate while the rest of the structure was kept fixed at the optPBE-vdW-optimized positions

J. Chem. Theory Comput. 15, p. 584, 2019
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jctc.8b00423