L. Vanduyfhuys

Modeling Gas Adsorption in Flexible Metal–Organic Frameworks via Hybrid Monte Carlo / Molecular Dynamics Schemes

S.M.J. Rogge, R. Goeminne, R. Demuynck, J.J. Gutiérrez-Sevillano, S. Vandenbrande, L. Vanduyfhuys, M. Waroquier, T. Verstraelen, V. Van Speybroeck
Advanced Theory and Simulations
2 (4), 1800177
2019
A1

Abstract 

Herein, a hybrid Monte Carlo (MC)/molecular dynamics (MD) simulation protocol that properly accounts for the extraordinary structural flexibility of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) is developed and validated. This is vital to accurately predict gas adsorption isotherms and guest‐induced flexibility of these materials. First, the performance of three recent models to predict adsorption isotherms and flexibility in MOFs is critically investigated. While these methods succeed in providing qualitative insight in the gas adsorption process in MOFs, their accuracy remains limited as the intrinsic flexibility of these materials is very hard to account for. To overcome this challenge, a hybrid MC/MD simulation protocol that is specifically designed to handle the flexibility of the adsorbent, including the shape flexibility, is introduced, thereby unifying the strengths of the previous models. It is demonstrated that the application of this new protocol to the adsorption of neon, argon, xenon, methane, and carbon dioxide in MIL‐53(Al), a prototypical flexible MOF, substantially decreases the inaccuracy of the obtained adsorption isotherms and predicted guest‐induced flexibility. As a result, this method is ideally suited to rationalize the adsorption performance of flexible nanoporous materials at the molecular level, paving the way for the conscious design of MOFs as industrial adsorbents.

Gold Open Access

Protocol for Identifying Accurate Collective Variables in Enhanced Molecular Dynamics Simulations for the Description of Structural Transformations in Flexible Metal–Organic Frameworks

R. Demuynck, J. Wieme, S.M.J. Rogge, K. Dedecker, L. Vanduyfhuys, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck
Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation
14 (11), pp 5511–5526
2018
A1

Abstract 

Various kinds of flexibility have been observed in metal–organic frameworks, which may originate from the topology of the material or the presence of flexible ligands. The construction of free energy profiles describing the full dynamical behavior along the phase transition path is challenging since it is not trivial to identify collective variables able to identify all metastable states along the reaction path. In this work, a systematic three-step protocol to uniquely identify the dominant order parameters for structural transformations in flexible metal–organic frameworks and subsequently construct accurate free energy profiles is presented. Methodologically, this protocol is rooted in the time-structure based independent component analysis (tICA), a well-established statistical modeling technique embedded in the Markov state model methodology and often employed to study protein folding, that allows for the identification of the slowest order parameters characterizing the structural transformation. To ensure an unbiased and systematic identification of these order parameters, the tICA decomposition is performed based on information from a prior replica exchange (RE) simulation, as this technique enhances the sampling along all degrees of freedom of the system simultaneously. From this simulation, the tICA procedure extracts the order parameters—often structural parameters—that characterize the slowest transformations in the material. Subsequently, these order parameters are adopted in traditional enhanced sampling methods such as umbrella sampling, thermodynamic integration, and variationally enhanced sampling to construct accurate free energy profiles capturing the flexibility in these nanoporous materials. In this work, the applicability of this tICA-RE protocol is demonstrated by determining the slowest order parameters in both MIL-53(Al) and CAU-13, which exhibit a strongly different type of flexibility. The obtained free energy profiles as a function of this extracted order parameter are furthermore compared to the profiles obtained when adopting less-suited collective variables, indicating the importance of systematically selecting the relevant order parameters to construct accurate free energy profiles for flexible metal–organic frameworks, which is in correspondence with experimental findings. The method succeeds in mapping the full free energy surface in terms of appropriate collective variables for MOFs exhibiting linker flexibility. For CAU-13, we show the decreased stability of the closed pore phase by systematically adding adsorbed xylene molecules in the framework.

On the intrinsic dynamic nature of the rigid UiO-66 metal-organic framework

J. Hajek, C. Caratelli, R. Demuynck, K. De Wispelaere, L. Vanduyfhuys, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck
Chemical Science
9 (10), 2723-2732
2018
A1

Abstract 

UiO-66 is a showcase example of an extremely stable metal–organic framework, which maintains its structural integrity during activation processes such as linker exchange and dehydration. The framework can even accommodate a substantial number of defects without compromising its stability. These observations point to an intrinsic dynamic flexibility of the framework, related to changes in the coordination number of the zirconium atoms. Herein we follow the dynamics of the framework in situ, by means of enhanced sampling molecular dynamics simulations such as umbrella sampling, during an activation process, where the coordination number of the bridging hydroxyl groups capped in the inorganic Zr6(μ3-O)4(μ3-OH)4 brick is reduced from three to one. Such a reduction in the coordination number occurs during the dehydration process and in other processes where defects are formed. We observe a remarkable fast response of the system upon structural changes of the hydroxyl group. Internal deformation modes are detected, which point to linker decoordination and recoordination. Detached linkers may be stabilized by hydrogen bonds with hydroxyl groups of the inorganic brick, which gives evidence for an intrinsic dynamic acidity even in the absence of protic guest molecules. Our observations yield a major step forward in the understanding on the molecular level of activation processes realized experimentally but that is hard to track on a purely experimental basis.

Open Access version available at UGent repository
Green Open Access

How chain length and branching influence the alkene cracking reactivity on H-ZSM-5

P. Cnudde, K. De Wispelaere, L. Vanduyfhuys, R. Demuynck, J. Van der Mynsbrugge, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck
ACS Catalysis
8, 9579 − 9595
2018
A1

Abstract 

Catalytic alkene cracking on H-ZSM-5 involves a complex reaction network with many possible reaction routes and often elusive intermediates. Herein, advanced molecular dynamics simulations at 773 K, a typical cracking temperature, are performed to clarify the nature of the intermediates and to elucidate dominant cracking pathways at operating conditions. A series of C4-C8 alkene intermediates are investigated to evaluate the influence of chain length and degree of branching on their stability. Our simulations reveal that linear, secondary carbenium ions are relatively unstable, although their lifetime increases with carbon number. Tertiary carbenium ions, on the other hand, are shown to be very stable, irrespective of the chain length. Highly branched carbenium ions, though, tend to rapidly rearrange into more stable cationic species, either via cracking or isomerization reactions. Dominant cracking pathways were determined by combining these insights on carbenium ion stability with intrinsic free energy barriers for various octene β-scission reactions, determined via umbrella sampling simulations at operating temperature (773 K). Cracking modes A (3° → 3°) and B2 (3° → 2°) are expected to be dominant at operating conditions, whereas modes B1 (2° → 3°), C (2° → 2°), D2 (2° → 1°) and E2 (3° → 1°) are expected to be less important. All β-scission modes in which a transition state with primary carbocation character is involved have high intrinsic free energy barriers. Reactions starting from secondary carbenium ions will contribute less as these intermediates are short living at the high cracking temperature. Our results show the importance of simulations at operating conditions to properly evaluate the carbenium ion stability for β-scission reactions and to assess the mobility of all species in the pores of the zeolite.

Open Access version available at UGent repository
Gold Open Access

Extension of the QuickFF force field protocol for an improved accuracy of structural, vibrational, mechanical and thermal properties of Metal Organic Frameworks

L. Vanduyfhuys, S. Vandenbrande, J. Wieme, M. Waroquier, T. Verstraelen, V. Van Speybroeck
Journal of Computational Chemistry
39 (16), p. 999-1011
2018
A1

Abstract 

QuickFF was originally launched in 2015 to derive accurate force fields for isolated and complex molecular systems in a quick and easy way. Apart from the general applicability, the functionality was especially tested for metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), a class of hybrid materials consisting of organic and inorganic building blocks. Herein, we launch a new release of the QuickFF protocol which includes new major features to predict structural, vibrational, mechanical and thermal properties with greater accuracy, without compromising its robustness and transparant workflow. First, the ab initio data necessary for the fitting procedure may now also be derived from periodic models for the molecular system, as opposed to the earlier cluster-based models. This is essential for an accurate description of MOFs with one dimensional metal-oxide chains. Second, cross terms that couple internal coordinates (ICs) and anharmonic contributions for bond and bend terms are implemented. These features are essential for a proper description of vibrational and thermal properties. Third, the fitting scheme was modified to improve robustness and accuracy. The new features are tested on MIL-53(Al), MOF-5, CAU-13 and NOTT-300. As expected, periodic input data is proven to be essential for a correct description of structural, vibrational and thermodynamic properties of MIL-53(Al). Bulk moduli and thermal expansion coefficients of MOF-5 are very accurately reproduced by static and dynamic simulations using the newly derived force fields which include cross terms and anharmonic corrections. For the flexible materials CAU-13 and NOTT-300, the transition pressure is accurately
predicted provided cross terms are taken into account.

Open Access version available at UGent repository
Gold Open Access

Thermodynamic insight into stimuli-responsive behavior of soft porous crystals

L. Vanduyfhuys, S.M.J. Rogge, J. Wieme, S. Vandenbrande, G. Maurin, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck
Nature Communications
9, 1, 204
2018
A1

Abstract 

Knowledge of the thermodynamic potential in terms of the independent variables allows to characterize the macroscopic state of the system. However, in practice, it is difficult to access this potential experimentally due to irreversible transitions that occur between equilibrium states. A showcase example of sudden transitions between (meta)stable equilibrium states is observed for soft porous crystals possessing a network with long-range structural order, which can transform between various states upon external stimuli such as pressure, temperature and guest adsorption. Such phase transformations are typically characterized by large volume changes and may be followed experimentally by monitoring the volume change in terms of certain external triggers. Herein, we present a generalized thermodynamic approach to construct the underlying Helmholtz free energy as a function of the state variables that governs the observed behaviour based on microscopic simulations. This concept allows a unique identification of the conditions under which a material becomes flexible.

Open Access version available at UGent repository
Gold Open Access

Elucidating the Vibrational Fingerprint of the Flexible Metal-Organic Framework MIL-53(Al) Using a Combined Experimental/Computational Approach

A.E.J. Hoffman, L. Vanduyfhuys, I. Nevjestic, J. Wieme, S.M.J. Rogge, H. Depauw, P. Van der Voort, H. Vrielinck, V. Van Speybroeck
Journal of Physical Chemistry C
122, 5, 2734-2746
2018
A1

Abstract 

In this work mid-infrared (mid-IR), far-IR, and Raman spectra are presented for the distinct (meta)stable phases of the flexible metal-organic framework MIL-53(Al). Static density functional theory (DFT) simulations are performed allowing for the identification of all IR active modes, which is unprecedented in the low-frequency region. A unique vibrational fingerprint is revealed, resulting from aluminum-oxide backbone stretching modes, which can be used to clearly distinguish the IR spectra of the closed- and large-pore phases. Furthermore, molecular dynamics simulations based on a DFT description of the potential energy surface enable to determine the theoretical Raman spectrum of the closed- and large-pore phases for the first time. An excellent correspondence between theory and experiment is observed. Both the low-frequency IR and Raman spectra show major differences in vibrational modes between the closed- and large-pore phases indicating changes in lattice dynamics between the two structures. In addition, several collective modes related to the breathing mechanism in MIL-53(Al) are identified. In particular, we rationalize the importance of the trampoline-like motion of the linker for the phase transition.

Open Access version available at UGent repository
Gold Open Access

Efficient Construction of Free Energy Profiles of Breathing Metal-Organic Frameworks Using Advanced Molecular Dynamics Simulations

R. Demuynck, S.M.J. Rogge, L. Vanduyfhuys, J. Wieme, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck
Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation (JCTC)
13 (12), 5861-5873
2017
A1

Abstract 

In order to reliably predict and understand the breathing behavior of highly flexible metal–organic frameworks from thermodynamic considerations, an accurate estimation of the free energy difference between their different metastable states is a prerequisite. Herein, a variety of free energy estimation methods are thoroughly tested for their ability to construct the free energy profile as a function of the unit cell volume of MIL-53(Al). The methods comprise free energy perturbation, thermodynamic integration, umbrella sampling, metadynamics, and variationally enhanced sampling. A series of molecular dynamics simulations have been performed in the frame of each of the five methods to describe structural transformations in flexible materials with the volume as the collective variable, which offers a unique opportunity to assess their computational efficiency. Subsequently, the most efficient method, umbrella sampling, is used to construct an accurate free energy profile at different temperatures for MIL-53(Al) from first principles at the PBE+D3(BJ) level of theory. This study yields insight into the importance of the different aspects such as entropy contributions and anharmonic contributions on the resulting free energy profile. As such, this thorough study provides unparalleled insight in the thermodynamics of the large structural deformations of flexible materials.

Open Access version available at UGent repository
Gold Open Access

Mechanical properties of a gallium fumarate metal-organic framework: a joint experimental-modelling exploration

P. Ramaswamy, J. Wieme, E. Alvarez, L. Vanduyfhuys, J.-P. Itié, P. Fabry, V. Van Speybroeck, C. Serre, P.G. Yot, G. Maurin
Journal of Materials Chemistry A
5 (22), 11047-11054
2017
A1

Abstract 

A gallium analogue of the commercially available Al-fumarate MOF A520 - recently identified as isotypic to MIL-53(Al)-BDC - has been synthesized and further characterized in its hydrated and dehydrated forms. The structural response under applied mechanical pressure of this MIL-53(Ga)-FA solid was investigated using advanced experimental techniques coupled with computational tools. Hg porosimetry and high-pressure X-Ray Powder Diffraction (XRPD) experiments evidenced that the pristine dehydrated large pore form undergoes an irreversible structure contraction upon an applied pressure of 85 MPa with an associated volume change of ca. 14% which makes this material promising for mechanical energy storage applications, in particular as a shock absorber. The breathing behavior was further rationalized performing a series of periodic Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations with the construction of an energy profile as a function of volume for both MIL-53(Ga)-FA and its Aluminum analogue. As such we could fully unravel the microscopic origin of the difference in pressure-induced behavior for the aluminum and gallium fumarate based materials.

Thermodynamic Insight in the High-Pressure Behavior of UiO-66: Effect of Linker Defects and Linker Expansion

S.M.J. Rogge, J. Wieme, L. Vanduyfhuys, S. Vandenbrande, G. Maurin, T. Verstraelen, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck
Chemistry of Materials
28 (16), 5721-5732
2016
A1

Abstract 

In this Article, we present a molecular-level understanding of the experimentally observed loss of crystallinity in UiO-66-type metal–organic frameworks, including the pristine UiO-66 to -68 as well as defect-containing UiO-66 materials, under the influence of external pressure. This goal is achieved by constructing pressure-versus-volume profiles at finite temperatures using a thermodynamic approach relying on ab initio derived force fields. On the atomic level, the phenomenon is reflected in a sudden drop in the number of symmetry operators for the crystallographic unit cell because of the disordered displacement of the organic linkers with respect to the inorganic bricks. For the defect-containing samples, a reduced mechanical stability is observed, however, critically depending on the distribution of these defects throughout the material, hence demonstrating the importance of judiciously characterizing defects in these materials.

This is an open access article published under an ACS AuthorChoice License, which permits copying and redistribution of the article or any adaptations for non-commercial purposes.
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.chemmater.6b01956

Open Access version available at UGent repository
Gold Open Access

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