Authors: Giovanni Barcaro , Luca Sementa, Susanna Monti , Vincenzo Carravetta, Peter Broqvist, Jolla Kullgren, and Kersti Hermansson
The widespread use of ceria-based materials and the need to design suitable strategies to prepare eco-friendly CeO2 supports for effective catalytic screening induced us to extend our computational multiscale protocol to the modeling of the hybrid organic/oxide interface between prototypical fluorinated linear alkane chains (polyethylene-like oligomers) and low-index ceria surfaces. The combination of quantum chemistry calculations and classical reactive molecular dynamics simulations provides a comprehensive picture of the interface and discloses, at the atomic level, the main causes of typical adsorption modes. The data show that at room temperature a moderate percentage of fluorine atoms (around 25%) can enhance the interaction of the organic chains by anchoring strongly pivotal fluorines to the channels of the underneath ceria (100) surface, whereas an excessive content can remarkably reduce this interaction because of the repulsion between fluorine and the negatively charged oxygen of the surface.
J. Phys. Chem. C, Volume 41, 2018, Page 23405
Authors: Byung-Hyun Kim , Mina Park, Gyubong Kim, Kersti Hermansson, Peter Broqvist, Heon-Jin Choi, and Kwang-Ryeol Lee
The effect of biaxial strain on the band structure of two-dimensional silicon nanosheets (Si NSs) with (111), (110), and (001) exposed surfaces was investigated by means of density functional theory calculations. For all the considered Si NSs, an indirect-to-direct band gap transition occurs as the lateral dimensions of Si NSs increase; that is, increasing lateral biaxial strain from compressive to tensile always enhances the direct band gap characteristics. Further analysis revealed the mechanism of the transition which is caused by preferential shifts of the conduction band edge at a specific k-point because of their bond characteristics. Our results explain a photoluminescence result of the (111) Si NSs [U. Kim et al., ACS Nano 2011, 5, 2176–2181] in terms of the plausible tensile strain imposed in the unoxidized inner layer by surface oxidation.
J. Phys. Chem. C, Volume 27, 2018, Page 15297
Authors: Dou Du, Matthew J. Wolf, Kersti Hermansson, and Peter Broqvist
We investigate how the redox properties of ceria are affected by the fraction of Fock exchange in screened HSE06-based hybrid density functionals, and we compare with PBE+U results, and with experiments when available. We find that using ∼15% Fock exchange yields a good compromise with respect to structure, electronic structure, and calculated reduction energies, and represents a significant improvement over the PBE+U results. We also investigate the possibility to use a computationally cheaper HSE06//PBE+U protocol consisting of structure optimization with PBE+U, a subsequent lattice parameter rescaling step, and, finally, a single-point full hybrid calculation. We find that such a composite computational protocol works very well and yields results in close agreement with those where HSE06 was used also for the structure optimization.
Phys. Rev. B, Volume 97, Page 235203.
Authors: Vanessa Quaranta, Matti Hellström, Jörg Behler, Jolla Kullgren, Pavlin D. Mitev, and Kersti Hermansson
Unraveling the atomistic details of solid/liquid interfaces, e.g., by means of vibrational spectroscopy, is of vital importance in numerous applications, from electrochemistry to heterogeneous catalysis. Water-oxide interfaces represent a formidable challenge because a large variety of molecular and dissociated water species are present at the surface. Here, we present a comprehensive theoretical analysis of the anharmonic OH stretching vibrations at the water/ZnO(10-10) interface as a prototypical case. Molecular dynamics simulations employing a reactive high-dimensional neural network potential based on density functional theory calculations have been used to sample the interfacial structures. In the second step, one-dimensional potential energy curves have been generated for a large number of configurations to solve the nuclear Schrödinger equation. We find that (i) the ZnO surface gives rise to OH frequency shifts up to a distance of about 4 Å from the surface; (ii) the spectrum contains a number of overlapping signals arising from different chemical species, with the frequencies decreasing in the order ν(adsorbed hydroxide) > ν(non-adsorbed water) > ν(surface hydroxide) > ν(adsorbed water); (iii) stretching frequencies are strongly influenced by the hydrogen bond pattern of these interfacial species. Finally, we have been able to identify substantial correlations between the stretching frequencies and hydrogen bond lengths for all species.
The Journal of Chemical Physics, 148, 241720 (2018);
Authors: Getachew G. Kebede , Pavlin D. Mitev, Peter Broqvist, Jolla Kullgren , and Kersti Hermansson
This paper concerns thin water films and their hydrogen-bond patterns on ionic surfaces. As far as we are aware, this is the first time H-bond correlations for surface water and hydroxide species are presented in the literature while hydrogen-bond relations in the solid state have been scrutinized for at least five decades. Our data set, which was derived using density functional theory, consists of 116 unique surface OH groups–intact water molecules as well as hydroxides–on MgO(001), CaO(001) and NaCl(001), covering the whole range from strong to weak to no H-bonds. The intact surface water molecules are found to always be redshifted with respect to the gas-phase water OH vibrational frequency, whereas the surface hydroxide groups are either redshifted (OsH) or blueshifted (OHf) compared to the gas-phase OH– frequency. The surface H-bond relations are compared with the traditional relations for bulk crystals. We find that the “ν(OH) vs R(H···O)” correlation curve for surface water does not coincide with the solid state curve: it is redshifted by about 200 cm–1 or more. The intact water molecules and hydroxide groups on the ionic surfaces essentially follow the same H-bond correlation curve.
J. Phys. Chem. C, 2018, 122 (9), pp 4849–4858
Authors: Jolla Kullgren, Matthew J. Wolf, Pavlin D. Mitev, Kersti Hermansson and Wim J. Briels
The interplay between energetics and entropy in determining defect distributions at ceria(111) is studied using a combination of DFT+U and lattice Monte Carlo simulations. Our main example is fluorine impurities, although we also present preliminary results for surface hydroxyl groups. A simple classical force-field model was constructed from a training set of DFT+U data for all symmetrically inequivalent (F−)n(Ce3+)n nearest-neighbor clusters with n = 2 or 3. Our fitted model reproduces the DFT energies well. We find that for an impurity concentration of 15% at 600 K, straight and hooked linear fluorine clusters are surprisingly abundant, with similarities to experimental STM images from the literature. We also find that with increasing temperature the fluorine cluster sizes show a transition from being governed by an attractive potential to being governed by a repulsive potential as a consequence of the increasing importance of the entropy of the Ce3+ ions. The distributions of surface hydroxyl groups are noticeably different.
J. Phys. Chem. C, 2017, 121 (28), pp 15127–15134
Authors: Imre Bakó, Anikó Lábas, Kersti Hermansson, Ákos Bencsura and Julianna Oláh
The significant cooperative effect between water molecules substantially affects the properties of liquid water. The cooperativity of hydrogen bonds means that the hydrogen bond strength is influenced by the neighboring water molecules. Another descriptor related to cooperativity is degree correlation (or static correlation) describing the probability of hydrogen-bonded molecule pairs participating in additional hydrogen-bonds. Herein we analyze the latter one in liquid water at various temperatures and densities in a series of molecular dynamics simulations with the help of knowledge from network science. We investigated how the applied hydrogen bond criteria (energetic or geometric) influence the obtained results, and showed that the energetic criterion is much more rigorous and reliable, therefore should be used for similar studies. We found that the structure of the subsystems of water molecules with 3 and 4 hydrogen-bonds is distinctly different at low temperature, 3‑hydrogen-bonded water molecules form branched chain structures at all temperature. Deconvolution of the descriptors of the mixing pattern of water molecules according to their donor and acceptor numbers showed that species with complementary hydrogen bonding properties are likely to correlate and form H-bonds with each other, while species with similar H-bond pattern tend to avoid each other. Pearson’s coefficient (global descriptor of the local cooperativity) of the studied networks suggests that at normal density the H-bonded network in liquid water can be described by an uncorrelated network.
Journal of Molecular Liquids, 245, 2017, pp 140-146
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
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
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);