Tag Archives: Peter Broqvist

Improving the transferability of density functional theory predictions through correlation analysis: Structural and energetic properties of NiX alloys (X=C, Si, Ge, and Sn)

Authors: Ageo Meier de Andrade, Jolla Kullgren, and Peter Broqvist

This work reports on the performance of density functional theory (DFT) for a series of single and binary systems, aiming for a quantitative description of NiX (X=C, Si, Ge, and Sn) alloys. Both semilocal GGA and a meta-GGA density functional, with and without dispersion corrections, are tested. We found in our study that no single functional simultaneously provides an accurate quantitative description of the investigated structural and energetic properties. However, the spread in computed DFT data could be rationalized in terms of the distribution of reduced density gradients and differences in the evolution of the exchange enhancement factors for different functionals. We demonstrate how to construct a regression model based on data from several density functionals that increases the predictivity of semilocal DFT. We foresee that the use of regression models (or extensions of it) can be valuable in the development of more accurate density functionals that in the future could provide a quantitative accuracy for complex multicomponent systems.

Phys. Rev. B 105, 085127 (2022)
doi: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.105.085127

Controlling the metal work function through atomic-scale surface engineering

Authors: Ageo Meierde Andrade, Jolla Kullgren, and Peter Broqvist

Adsorbate induced work function modification of Ni have been investigated by means of first-principles calculations. More specifically, the adsorption of Li, Na, Si, Zr, Pd, Pt, or Sn at various coverages on Ni low-index surface models have been considered. In the case of Sn, a more thorough investigation was performed comparing the adsorption as an overlayer structure with the case of surface alloy formation. Our calculations suggest that the most stable Sn@Ni configuration corresponds to a surface alloy, and here the Ni(100)c(2 × 2)-Sn, Ni(110)c(2 × 2)-Sn, and Ni(111)(sqrt(3) x sqrt(3))R30-Sn surface alloys were found to display similar stability. Concerning the induced work function change, a different behaviour as a function of coverage was observed depending on the nature of the Sn@Ni surface model. Both overlayer adsorption and surface alloying were found to induce a work function decrease already at relatively low coverages ( 0.05 atom Å −2), regardless of the underlying surface orientation. However, while the work function obtained for stable surface alloys was found to monotonously decrease as the coverage increases, the work function for the stable overlayer structures goes through a minimum. For all investigated surface modifications, the change in work function was found to be consistent with the orientation of the charge transfer at the adsorbate–surface interface. The computed data in this work may serve as handles for experimental endeavours aiming to optimize properties of active materials through atomic-scale surface engineering.

Applied Surface Science, Volume 589, (2022), 152932
doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apsusc.2022.152932

Curvature Constrained Splines for DFTB Repulsive Potential Parametrization

Authors: Akshay Krishna Ammothum Kandy, Eddie Wadbro, Balint Aradi, Peter Broqvist, and Jolla Kullgren 

The Curvature Constrained Splines (CCS) methodology has been used for fitting repulsive potentials to be used in SCC-DFTB calculations. The benefit of using CCS is that the actual fitting of the repulsive potential is performed through quadratic programming on a convex objective function. This guarantees a unique (for strictly convex) and optimum two-body repulsive potential in a single shot, thereby making the parametrization process robust, and with minimal human effort. Furthermore, the constraints in CCS give the user control to tune the shape of the repulsive potential based on prior knowledge about the system in question. Herein, we developed the method further with new constraints and the capability to handle sparse data. We used the method to generate accurate repulsive potentials for bulk Si polymorphs and demonstrate that for a given Slater-Koster table, which reproduces the experimental band structure for bulk Si in its ground state, we are unable to find one single two-body repulsive potential that can accurately describe the various bulk polymorphs of silicon in our training set. We further demonstrate that to increase transferability, the repulsive potential needs to be adjusted to account for changes in the chemical environment, here expressed in the form of a coordination number. By training a near-sighted Atomistic Neural Network potential, which includes many-body effects but still essentially within the first-neighbor shell, we can obtain full transferability for SCC-DFTB in terms of describing the energetics of different Si polymorphs.

J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2021, 17, 3, 1771–1781

Phonon-Assisted Hot Carrier Generation in Plasmonic Semiconductor Systems

Authors: Yocefu Hattori, Jie Meng, Kaibo Zheng, Ageo Meier de Andrade, Jolla Kullgren, Peter Broqvist, Peter Nordlander, and Jacinto Sá

Plasmonic materials have optical cross sections that exceed by 10-fold their geometric sizes, making them uniquely suitable to convert light into electrical charges. Harvesting plasmon-generated hot carriers is of interest for the broad fields of photovoltaics and photocatalysis; however, their direct utilization is limited by their ultrafast thermalization in metals. To prolong the lifetime of hot carriers, one can place acceptor materials, such as semiconductors, in direct contact with the plasmonic system. Herein, we report the effect of operating temperature on hot electron generation and transfer to a suitable semiconductor. We found that an increase in the operation temperature improves hot electron harvesting in a plasmonic semiconductor hybrid system, contrasting what is observed on photodriven processes in nonplasmonic systems. The effect appears to be related to an enhancement in hot carrier generation due to phonon coupling. This discovery provides a new strategy for optimization of photodriven energy production and chemical synthesis.

Nano Lett. 2021, 21, 2, 1083–1089

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


CCS: A software framework to generate two-body potentials using Curvature Constrained Splines

Authors: Akshay Krishna A. K., Eddie Wadbro, Christof Köhler, Pavlin Mitev, Peter Broqvist, and Jolla Kullgren

We have developed an automated and efficient scheme for the fitting of data using Curvature Constrained Splines (CCS), to construct accurate two-body potentials. The approach enabled the construction of an oscillation-free, yet flexible, potential. We show that the optimization problem is convex and that it can be reduced to a standard Quadratic Programming (QP) problem. The improvements are demonstrated by the development of a two-body potential for Ne from ab initio data. We also outline possible extensions to the method.

Program summary
Program Title: CCS

CPC Library link to program files: http://dx.doi.org/10.17632/7dt5nzxgbs.1

Developer’s repository link: http://github.com/aksam432/CCS

Licensing provisions: GPLv3

Programming language: Python

External routines/libraries: NumPy, matplotlib, ASE, CVXOPT

Nature of problem: Ab initio quantum chemistry methods are often computationally very expensive. To alleviate this problem, the development of efficient empirical and semi-empirical methods is necessary. Two-body potentials are ubiquitous in empirical and semi-empirical methods.

Solution method: The CCS package provides a new strategy to obtain accurate two body potentials. The potentials are described as cubic splines with curvature constraints.

Computer Physics Communications, 258, 107602, (2021);


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.

Quantitative and qualitative performance of density functional theory rationalized by reduced density gradient distributions

Authors: Ageo Meier de Andrade, Jolla Kullgren and Peter Broqvist 

We evaluate the qualitative and quantitative accuracy of various flavors of density functionals with and without accounting for dispersion corrections. Our test system is nickel in the form of bulk, surfaces, and nanoparticles for which we compute structural properties, bulk cohesive energies, surface energies, and work functions and compare to experimental data. We find that the inclusion of any dispersion, either by an a posteriori correction or by a self-consistent treatment by explicitly computing the nonlocal correlation contribution to the total energy, has a significant effect on the calculated properties and improves the quantitative comparison to experiments. Besides the quantitative agreement, we also investigate qualitative features by comparing Wulff shapes of metal nanoparticles as obtained using the different density functionals. We find that all tested functionals predict similar Wulff shapes for nickel nanoparticles but still have some small differences. These results show that the relative energies calculated using the semilocal GGA and meta-GGA functionals, with and without dispersion, are quite similar. Our findings can also be generalized to other systems when rationalized in terms of the computed reduced density gradients. We find that the distribution of reduced density gradients in a material is correlated to the steepness of the exchange enhancement factor and propose that this information can be used as a quantitative guide when it comes to picking the most appropriate density functional for specific target systems as well as when it comes to extrapolating DFT data to predict experiments.

Phys. Rev. B 102, 2020, 075115


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