Journal of Physical Chemistry C

Exploring the flexibility of MIL-47(V)-type materials using force field molecular dynamics simulations

J. Wieme, L. Vanduyfhuys, S.M.J. Rogge, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck
Journal of Physical Chemistry C
120 (27), 14934-14947
2016
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Abstract 

The flexibility of three MIL-47(V)-type materials (MIL-47, COMOC-2 and COMOC-3) has been explored by constructing the pressure-versus-volume and free energy-versus-volume curves at various temperatures ranging from 100 K to 400 K. This is done with first-principles based force fields using the recently proposed QuickFF parameterization protocol. Specific terms were added for the materials at hand to describe the asymmetry of the one-dimensional vanadium-oxide chain and to account for the flexibility of the organic linkers. The force fields are used in a series of molecular dynamics simulations at fixed volumes, but varying unit cell shapes. The three materials show a distinct pressure-versus-volume behavior, which underlines the ability to tune the mechanical properties by varying the linkers towards different applications such as nanosprings, dampers and shock absorbers.

Mechanical properties from periodic plane wave QM codes: the challenge of the flexible nanoporous MIL-47 (V) framework

D.E.P. Vanpoucke, K. Lejaeghere, V. Van Speybroeck, M. Waroquier, A. Ghysels
Journal of Physical Chemistry C
119, 23752-23766
2015
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Abstract 

Modeling the flexibility of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) requires the computation of mechanical properties from first principles, e.g., for screening of materials in a database, for gaining insight into structural transformations, and for force field development. However, this paper shows that computations with periodic density functional theory are challenged by the flexibility of these materials: guidelines from experience with standard solid-state calculations cannot be simply transferred to flexible porous frameworks. Our test case, the MIL-47(V) material, has a large-pore and a narrow-pore shape. The effect of Pulay stress (cf. Pulay forces) leads to drastic errors for a simple structure optimization of the flexible MIL-47(V) material. Pulay stress is an artificial stress that tends to lower the volume and is caused by the finite size of the plane wave basis set. We have investigated the importance of this Pulay stress, of symmetry breaking, and of k-point sampling on (a) the structure optimization and (b) mechanical properties such as elastic constants and bulk modulus, of both the large-pore and narrow-pore structure of MIL-47(V). We found that, in the structure optimization, Pulay effects should be avoided by using a fitting procedure, in which an equation of state E(V) (EOS) is fit to a series of energy versus volume points. Manual symmetry breaking could successfully lower the energy of MIL-47(V) by distorting the vanadium–oxide distances in the vanadyl chains and by rotating the benzene linkers. For the mechanical properties, the curvature of the EOS curve was compared with the Reuss bulk modulus, derived from the elastic tensor in the harmonic approximation. Errors induced by anharmonicity, the eggbox effect, and Pulay effects propagate into the Reuss modulus. The strong coupling of the unit cell axes when the unit cell deforms expresses itself in numerical instability of the Reuss modulus. For a flexible material, it is therefore advisible to resort to the EOS fit procedure.

Shape-selective diffusion of olefins in 8-ring solid acid microporous zeolites

A. Ghysels, S.L. Moors, K. Hemelsoet, K. De Wispelaere, M. Waroquier, G. Sastre, V. Van Speybroeck
Journal of Physical Chemistry C
119, 41, 23721-23734
2015
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Abstract 

The diffusion of olefins through 8-ring solid acid microporous zeolites is investigated using molecular dynamics simulations techniques and using a newly developed flexible force field. Within the context of the Methanol to Olefin (MTO) process and the observed product distribution, knowledge on the diffusion paths is essential to obtain molecular level control over the process conditions. Eight-ring zeotype materials are favorably used for the MTO process as they give a selective product distribution towards low carbon olefins. To investigate how composition, acidity and flexibility influence the diffusion paths of ethene and propene, a series of isostructural aluminosilicates (zeolites) and silicoaluminophosphates (AlPOs and SAPOs) are investigated with and without randomly distributed acidic sites. Distinct variations in diffusion of ethene are observed in terms of temperature, composition, acidity, and topology (AEI, CHA, AFX). In general, diffusion of ethene is an activated process for which free energy barriers for individual rings may be determined. We observe ring dependent diffusion behavior which can not solely be described in terms of the composition and topology of the rings. A new descriptor had to be introduced namely the accessible window area (AWA), inspired by implicit solvation models of proteins and small molecules. The AWA may be determined throughout the molecular dynamics trajectories and correlates well with the number of ring crossings at the molecular level and the free energy barriers for ring crossings from one cage to the other. The overall observed diffusivity is determined by molecular characteristics of individual rings for which AWA is a proper descriptor. Temperature-induced changes in framework dynamics and diffusivity may be captured by following the new descriptor throughout the simulations.

Reactivity of CO on carbon covered cobalt surfaces in Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis

L. Joos, I. Filot, S. Cottenier, E. Hensen, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck, R.A. van Santen
Journal of Physical Chemistry C
118 (10), 5317–5327
2014
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Abstract 

Fischer–Tropsch synthesis is an attractive process to convert alternative carbon sources, such as biomass, natural gas, or coal, to fuels and chemicals. Deactivation of the catalyst is obviously undesirable, and for a commercial plant it is of high importance to keep the catalyst active as long as possible during operating conditions. In this study, the reactivity of CO on carbon-covered cobalt surfaces has been investigated by means of density functional theory (DFT). An attempt is made to provide insight into the role of carbon deposition on the deactivation of two cobalt surfaces: the closed-packed Co(0001) surface and the corrugated Co(112̅1) surface. We also analyzed the adsorption and diffusion of carbon atoms on both surfaces and compared the mobility. Finally, the results for Co(0001) and Co(112̅1) are compared, and the influence of the surface topology is assessed.

New Functionalized Metal–Organic Frameworks MIL-47-X (X = −Cl, −Br, −CH3, −CF3, −OH, −OCH3): Synthesis, Characterization, and CO2 Adsorption Properties

S. Biswas, D.E.P. Vanpoucke, T. Verstraelen, M. Vandichel, S. Couck, K. Leus, Y-Y Liu, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck, J.F.M. Denayer, P. Van der Voort
Journal of Physical Chemistry C
117 (44), 22784–22796
2013
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Abstract 

Six new functionalized vanadium hydroxo terephthalates [VIII(OH)(BDC-X)]•n(guests) (MIL-47(VIII)-X-AS) (BDC = 1,4-benzenedicarboxylate; X = -Cl; -Br, -CH3, -CF3, -OH, -OCH3; AS = as-synthesized) along with the parent MIL-47 were synthesized under rapid microwave-assisted hydrothermal conditions (170 ºC, 30 min, 150 W). The unreacted H2BDC-X and/or occluded solvent molecules can be removed by thermal activation under vacuum leading to the empty-pore forms of the title compounds (MIL-47(VIV)-X). Except pristine MIL-47 (+III oxidation state), the vanadium atoms in all the evacuated functionalized solids stayed in +IV oxidation state. The phase purity of the compounds was ascertained by X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD), diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform (DRIFT) spectroscopy, Raman, thermogravimetric (TG), and elemental analysis. The structural similarity of the filled and empty-pore forms of the functionalized compounds with the respective forms of parent MIL-47 was verified by cell parameter determination from XRPD data. TGA and temperature-dependent XRPD (TDXRPD) experiments in air atmosphere indicate high thermal stability in the range 330-385 ºC. All the thermally activated compounds exhibit significant microporosity (SLangmuir in the range 418-1104 m2 g-1), as verified by the N2 and CO2 sorption analysis. Among the six functionalized compounds, MIL-47(VIV)-OCH3 shows the highest CO2 uptake, demonstrating the determining role of functional groups on the CO2 sorption behaviour. For this compound and pristine MIL-47(VIV), Widom particle insertion simulations were performed based on ab initio calculated crystal structures. The theoretical Henry coefficients show a good agreement with the experimental values, and calculated isosurfaces for the local excess chemical potential indicate the enhanced CO2 affinity is due to two effects: (i) the interaction between the methoxy group and CO2 and (ii) the collapse of the MIL-47(VIV)-OCH3 framework.

Bipyridine-Based Nanosized Metal–Organic Framework with Tunable Luminescence by a Postmodification with Eu(III): An Experimental and Theoretical Study

Y-Y Liu, R. Decadt, T. Bogaerts, K. Hemelsoet, A.M. Kaczmarek, D. Poelman, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck, R. Van Deun, P. Van der Voort
Journal of Physical Chemistry C
117 (21), 11302–11310
2013
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Abstract 

A gallium 2,2′-bipyridine-5,5′-dicarboxylate metal-organic framework, Ga(OH)(bpydc), denoted as COMOC-4 (COMOC = Center for Ordered Materials, Organometallics and Catalysis, Ghent University) has been synthesized via solvothermal synthesis procedure. The structure has the topology of an aluminum 2,2′-bipyridine-5,5′-dicarboxylate, the so-called MOF-253. TEM and SEM micrographs show the COMOC-4 crystals are formed in nanoplates with uniform size of 30-50 nm. The UV-Vis spectra of COMOC-4 in methanol solution show maximal electronic absorption at 307 nm. This results from linker to linker transitions as elucidated by time-dependent density functional theory simulations on the linker and COMOC-4 cluster models. When excited at 400 nm, COMOC-4 displays an emission band centered at 542 nm. Upon immersion in different solvents, the emission band for the framework is shifted in the range of 525~548 nm, depending on the solvent. After incorporating Eu3+ cations, the emission band of the framework is shifted to even shorter wavelengths (505 nm). By varying the excitation wavelengths from 250 to 400 nm, we can fine-tune the emission from red to yellowish green in the CIE diagram. The luminescence behavior of Eu3+ cations is well preserved and the solid state luminescence lifetimes of λ1 = 45 µs (35.4 %) and λ2 = 162 µs (64.6 %) are observed.

On the thermodynamics of framework breathing: A free energy model for gas adsorption in MIL-53

A. Ghysels, L. Vanduyfhuys, M. Vandichel, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck, B. Smit
Journal of Physical Chemistry C
117, 11540-11554
2013
A1

Abstract 

When adsorbing guest molecules, the porous metal-organic framework MIL-53(Cr) may vary its cell parameters drastically while retaining its crystallinity. A first approach to the thermodynamic analysis of this 'framework breathing' consists of comparing the osmotic potential in two distinct shapes only (large-pore and narrow-pore). In this paper, we propose a generic parametrized free energy model including three contributions: host free energy, guest-guest interactions, and host-guest interaction. Free energy landscapes may now be constructed scanning all shapes and any adsorbed amount of guest molecules. This allows to determine which shapes are the most stable states for arbitrary combinations of experimental control parameters, such as the adsorbing gas chemical potential, the external pressure, and the temperature. The new model correctly reproduces the structural transitions along the CO2 and CH4 isotherms. Moreover, our model successfully explains the adsorption versus desorption hysteresis as a consequence of the creation, stabilization, destabilization, and disappearance of a second free energy minimum under the assumptions of a first order phase transition and collective behavior. Our general thermodynamic description allows to decouple the gas chemical potential μ and mechanical pressure P as two independent thermodynamic variables and predict the complete (μ,P) phase diagram for CO2 adsorption in MIL-53(Cr). The free energy model proposed here is an important step towards a general thermodynamics description of flexible metal-organic frameworks.

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