Tag Archives: Pavlin D. Mitev

Unravelling in-situ formation of highly active mixed metal oxide CuInO2 nanoparticles during CO2 electroreduction

Authors: Roghayeh Imani, Zhen Qiu, Reza Younesi, Meysam Pazoki, Daniel L.A. Fernandes, Pavlin D. Mitev, Tomas Edvinsson, Haining Tian

Technologies and catalysts for converting carbon dioxide (CO2) to immobile products are of high interest to minimize greenhouse effects. Copper(I) is a promising catalytic active state of copper but hampered by the inherent instability in comparison to copper(II) or copper(0). Here, we report a stabilization of the catalytic active state of copper(I) by the formation of a mixed metal oxide CuInO2 nanoparticle during the CO2electroreduction. Our result shows the incorporation of nanoporous Sn:In2O3 interlayer to Cu2O pre-catalyst system lead to the formation of CuInO2 nanoparticles with remarkably higher activity for CO2 electroreduction at lower overpotential in comparison to the conventional Cu nanoparticles derived from sole Cu2O. Operando Raman spectroelectrochemistry is employed to in-situ monitor the process of nanoparticles formation during the electrocatalytic process. The experimental data are collaborated with DFT calculations to provide insight into the electro-formation of the type of Cu-based mixed metal oxide catalyst during the CO2 electroreduction, where a formation mechanism via copper ion diffusion across the substrate is suggested.

Nano Energy, Volume 49, July 2018, Pages 40-50

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);

Hydrogen-Bond Relations for Surface OH Species

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. C2018122 (9), pp 4849–4858
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b10981

DFT-based Monte Carlo Simulations of Impurity Clustering at CeO2(111)

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
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b00299

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);
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4971790

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

Vibrational models for a crystal with 36 water molecules in the unit cell: IR spectra from experiment and calculation

Authors: Pavlin D. Mitev, Anders Eriksson, Jean-François Boily and Kersti Hermansson

c5cp00390c-f6We present experimental and calculated IR spectra of the water molecules in crystalline aluminium nitrate nonahydrate and a method to generate a realistic and well resolved isotope-isolated spectrum from periodic DFT calculations. Our sample crystal contains 18 structurally different OH groups and is a perfect benchmark compound to validate vibrational models and the structure–property relationship of bound water molecules. FTIR spectra (ATR technique) were recorded for the Al(NO3)3·9H2O crystal at 138 and 298 K, and due to a multitude of OH contributions and couplings, they are naturally poorly resolved and yield a broad OH band in the range 3500 to 2700 cm−1 at both temperatures. Isotope-isolated IR spectra have the clear advantage over non-deuterated spectra that they are better resolved and easier to interpret – here we have extended the experimental study by simulating the isotope-isolated IR spectrum, using PBE-D2 and auxiliary B3LYP calculations and an anharmonic OH vibrational model. We find excellent agreement between the shapes and frequency ranges of the experimental and calculated OH spectral bands. We make use of four different vibrational models: (i) a harmonic lattice-dynamical model for the isotope-isolated crystal with 1 H among 71 D, (ii) a harmonic lattice-dynamical model for the normal undeuterated crystal involving all the vibrational couplings, (iii) a harmonic 1-dimensional uncoupled OH vibrational model, and (iv) the anharmonic variant of the previous model, which yields the final spectrum. We also use the individual frequencies, resolved by the calculations, to quantify new or extended relationships involving OH frequencies versus local electric fields and H-bond distances. We explore the correlation between OH frequency and molecular dipole moment for bound water molecules.

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015, 17, 10520-10531
DOI: 10.1039/C5CP00390C

Oxygen Vacancies versus Fluorine at CeO2(111): A Case of Mistaken Identity?

Authors: J. Kullgren, M. J. Wolf, C. W. M. Castleton, P. D. Mitev, W. J. Briels, and K. Hermansson

mediumWe propose a resolution to the puzzle presented by the surface defects observed with STM at the (111) surface facet of CeO2 single crystals. In the seminal paper of Esch et al. [Science 309, 752 (2005)] they were identified with oxygen vacancies, but the observed behavior of these defects is inconsistent with the results of density functional theory (DFT) studies of oxygen vacancies in the literature. We resolve these inconsistencies via DFT calculations of the properties of both oxygen vacancies and fluorine impurities at CeO2(111), the latter having recently been shown to exist in high concentrations in single crystals from a widely used commercial source of such samples. We find that the simulated filled-state STM images of surface-layer oxygen vacancies and fluorine impurities are essentially identical, which would render problematic their experimental distinction by such images alone. However, we find that our theoretical results for the most stable location, mobility, and tendency to cluster, of fluorine impurities are consistent with experimental observations, in contrast to those for oxygen vacancies. Based on these results, we propose that the surface defects observed in STM experiments on CeO2 single crystals reported heretofore were not oxygen vacancies, but fluorine impurities. Since the similarity of the simulated STM images of the two defects is due primarily to the relative energies of the 2p states of oxygen and fluorine ions, this confusion might also occur for other oxides which have been either doped or contaminated with fluorine.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 156102
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.156102

Large polarization but small electron transfer for water around Al3+ in a highly hydrated crystal

Authors: Pavlin D. Mitev, Imre Bakó, Anders Eriksson and Kersti Hermansson



Precise molecular-level information on the water molecule is precious, since it affects our interpretation of the role of water in a range of important applications of aqueous media. Here we propose that electronic structure calculations for highly hydrated crystals yield such information. Properties of nine structurally different water molecules (19 independent OO hydrogen bonds) in the Al(NO3)3·9H2O crystal have been calculated from DFT calculations. We combine the advantage of studying different water environments using one and the same compound and method (instead of comparing a set of independent experiments, each with its own set of errors) with the advantage of knowing the exact atomic positions, and the advantage of calculating properties that are difficult to extract from experiment. We find very large Wannier dipole moments for H2O molecules surrounding the cations: 4.0–4.3 D (compared to our calculated value of 1.83 D in the gas phase). These are induced by the ions and the H-bonds, while other water interactions and the relaxation of the internal water geometry in fact decrease the dipole moments. We find a good correlation between the water dipole moment and the OO distances, and an even better (non-linear) correlation with the average electric field over the molecule. Literature simulation data for ionic aqueous solutions fit quite well with our crystalline ‘dipole moment vs. OO distance’ curve. The progression of the water and cation charges from ‘small clusterslarge clustersthe crystal’ helps explain why the net charges on all the water molecules are so small in the crystal.

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2014, 16, 9351-9363

DOI: 10.1039/C3CP55358B