V. Van Speybroeck

Tetravalent doping of CeO2: The impact of valence electron character on group IV dopant influence

D.E.P. Vanpoucke, S. Cottenier, V. Van Speybroeck, I. Van Driessche, P. Bultinck
Journal of the American Ceramic Society
97 (1), 258-266
2013
A1

Abstract 

Fluorite CeO2 doped with group IV elements is studied within the DFT and DFT+U framework. Concentration dependent formation energies are calculated for Ce1−xZxO2 (Z= C, Si, Ge, Sn, Pb, Ti, Zr, Hf) with 0≤x≤0.25 and a roughly decreasing trend with ionic radius is observed. The influence of the valence and near valence electronic configuration is discussed, indicating the importance of filled d and f shells near the Fermi level for all properties investigated. A clearly different behavior of group IVa and IVb dopants is observed: the former are more suitable for surface modifications, the latter are more suitable for bulk modifications.\\ \indent For the entire set of group IV dopants, there exists an inverse relation between the change, due to doping, of the bulk modulus and the thermal expansion coefficients. Hirshfeld-I atomic charges show that charge transfer effects due to doping are limited to the nearest neighbor oxygen atoms.

Ab initio based thermal property predictions at a low cost: An error analysis

K. Lejaeghere, J. Jaeken, V. Van Speybroeck, S. Cottenier
Physical Review B
89, 014304
2014
A1

Abstract 

Ab initio calculations often do not straightforwardly yield the thermal properties of a material yet. It requires considerable computational efforts, for example, to predict the volumetric thermal expansion coefficient αV or the melting temperature Tm from first principles. An alternative is to use semi-empirical approaches. They relate the experimental values to first-principles predictors via fits or approximative models. Before applying such methods, however, it is of paramount importance to be aware of the expected errors. We therefore quantify these errors at the DFT-PBE level for several semi-empirical approximations of αV and Tm , and compare them to the errors from fully ab initio methods, which are computationally more intensive. We base our conclusions on a benchmark set of 71 ground-state elemental crystals. For the thermal expansion coefficient, it appears that simple quasiharmonic theory, in combination with different approximations to the Gruneisen parameter, provides a similar overall accuracy as exhaustive first-principles phonon calculations. For the melting temperature, expensive ab initio molecular-dynamics simulations still outperform semi-empirical methods.

Open Access version available at UGent repository

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
A1

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.

Vanadium Metal-Organic Frameworks: Structures and Applications

P. Van der Voort, K. Leus, Y-Y Liu, M. Vandichel, V. Van Speybroeck, M. Waroquier, S. Biswas
New Journal of Chemistry
38, 1853-1867
2014
A1

Abstract 

This perspective review paper describes the V-containing Metal-Organic Framworks that have been developed since the first systematic reports on MOFs almost 15 years ago. These hybrid crystalline materials, containing V(III) or V(IV) as metal nodes show interesting behaviour in oxidation catalysis and gas sorption. A significant amount of papers has appeared on the use of these structures in gas (hydrocarbon, CO2) separation. Promising future research and development of V-MOFs is suggested.

Open Access version available at UGent repository

Substituent effects on absorption spectra of pH-indicators: An experimental and computational study of sulfonphthaleine dyes

T. De Meyer, K. Hemelsoet, V. Van Speybroeck, K. De Clerck
Dyes and Pigments
102, 241-250
2014
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Abstract 

Sulfonphthaleine dyes are an important class of pH indicators, finding applications in novel (textile) sensors. In this paper, we present a combined experimental and theoretical study to elucidate the halochromic behaviour of a large set of sulfonphthaleine compounds. Starting from an experimental analysis consisting of UV/Vis spectroscopy, the pH region and the absorption wavelengths related to the colour shift are obtained and pKa values are derived. The effect of the substituents on the pH region can be traced back to their electron donating/withdrawing properties. Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory (TD-DFT) is able to adequately produce the trend in experimental wavelengths. Proton affinities are used to assess the effect of substituents on the pH region. The combination of theory and experiment is able to give a better understanding of the pH sensitivity; the methodology in this work will be useful in future dye design and is applicable to other dye classes as well.

Open Access version available at UGent repository

Molecular dynamics kinetic study on the zeolite-catalyzed benzene methylation in ZSM-5

S.L. Moors, K. De Wispelaere, J. Van der Mynsbrugge, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck
ACS Catalysis
2013 (3), 2556–2567
2013
A1

Abstract 

The methylation of arenes is a key step in the production of hydrocarbons from methanol over acidic zeolites. We performed ab initio static and molecular dynamics free energy simulations of the benzene methylation in H-ZSM-5 to determine the factors that influence the reaction kinetics. Special emphasis is given to the effect of surrounding methanol molecules on the methylation kinetics. It is found that for higher methanol loadings methylation may also occur from a protonated methanol cluster, indicating that the exact location of the Brønsted acid site is not essential for the zeolite-catalyzed methylation reaction. However, methylations from a protonated methanol cluster exhibit higher free energy barriers than a methylation from a single methanol molecule. Finally, comparison with a pure methanol solvent reaction environment indicates that the main role of the zeolite during the methylation of benzene is to provide the acidic proton and to create a polar environment for the reaction. The metadynamics approach, which is specifically designed to sample rare events, allows exploring new reaction pathways, which take into account the flexibility of the framework and additional guest molecules in the pores and channels of the zeolite framework. This approach goes beyond the often applied static calculations to determine reaction kinetics.

Crystal structure prediction for supersaturated AZO : the case of Zn3Al2O6

K. Rijpstra, S. Cottenier, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck
CrystEngComm
2013 (15), 10440-10444
2013
A1

Abstract 

Increasing the Al concentration in Al-doped ZnO (AZO) is one way of improving the conductivity of this transparent conductive oxide (TCO). Beyond a certain concentration, an unwanted secondary phase develops with a low conductivity. Its stoichiometry is Zn3Al2O6, and its crystal structure has not yet been convincingly determined. By applying unbiased ab initio structure prediction tools, we predict the crystal structure of Zn3Al2O6 to be monoclinic with space group Pm. It can be described as a nanofabric, with one-dimensional Al2O3 wires penetrating a ZnO matrix. This crystal has a formation energy that is lower than any structure proposed before, and is consistent with all available experimental information. Knowledge of the nature of this phase can help to avoid its formation and therefore to engineer AZO crystals with an increased level of Al-doping and associated increased conductivity.

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
A1

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.

Mn-salen@MIL101(Al) a heterogeneous, enantioselective catalyst using a ‘bottle around the ship’ approach

T. Bogaerts, A. Van Yperen-De Deyne, Y-Y Liu, F. Lynen, V. Van Speybroeck, P. Van der Voort
Chemical Communications
2013 (49), 8021-8023
2013
A1

Abstract 

An enantioselective catalyst, consisting of a chiral Mn(III)salen complex entrapped in the MIL-101 metal organic framework is reported. For the first time, we assemble a robust MOF-cage around a delicate chiral complex, without affecting the structure and stability of this complex. The newly prepared heterogeneous catalyst shows the same enantioselective excess compared to the homogeneous Mn(III)salen complex and is fully recyclable. Theoretical calculations yield insight into the dimensions of the various transition states of the epoxidation reaction.

Bimetallic–Organic Framework as a Zero-Leaching Catalyst in the Aerobic Oxidation of Cyclohexene

Y-Y Liu, K. Leus, T. Bogaerts, K. Hemelsoet, E. Bruneel, V. Van Speybroeck, P. Van der Voort
ChemCatChem
5 (12), 3657–3664
2013
A1

Abstract 

A gallium 2,2′-bipyridine-5,5′-dicarboxylate metal–organic framework (MOF), denoted as COMOC-4, has been synthesized by solvothermal synthesis. This MOF exhibits the same topology as MOF-253. CuCl2 was incorporated into COMOC-4 by a post-synthetic modification (PSM). The spectroscopic absorption properties of the MOF framework before and after PSM were compared with theoretical data obtained by employing molecular dynamics combined with time-dependent DFT calculations on both the as-synthesized and functionalized linker. The catalytic behavior of the resulting Cu2+@COMOC-4 material was evaluated in the aerobic oxidation of cyclohexene with isobutyraldehyde as a co-oxidant. In addition, the catalytic performance of Cu2+@COMOC-4 was compared with that of the commercially available Cu-BTC (BTC=benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxylate) MOF. Cu2+@COMOC-4 exhibits a good cyclohexene conversion and an excellent selectivity towards cyclohexene oxide in comparison to the Cu-based reference catalyst. Furthermore, no leaching of the active Cu sites was observed during at least four consecutive runs.

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