Tag Archives: Kersti Hermansson

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


Dynamical and Structural Characterization of the Adsorption of Fluorinated Alkane Chains onto CeO2

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

Indirect-to-Direct Band Gap Transition of Si Nanosheets: Effect of Biaxial Strain

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

Screened hybrid functionals applied to ceria: Effect of Fock exchange

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.



Maximally resolved anharmonic OH vibrational spectrum of the water/ZnO(10-10) interface from a high-dimensional neural network potential

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);