S. Vandenbrande

Charting the Metal-Dependent High-Pressure Stability of Bimetallic UiO-66 Materials

S.M.J. Rogge, P.G. Yot, J. Jacobsen, F. Muniz-Miranda, S. Vandenbrande, J. Gosch, V. Ortiz, I. Collings, S. Devautour-Vinot, G. Maurin, N. Stock, V. Van Speybroeck
ACS Materials Letters
2 (4), 438-445
2020
A1

Abstract 

In theory, bimetallic UiO-66(Zr:Ce) and UiO-66(Zr:Hf) metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are extremely versatile and attractive nanoporous materials as they combine the high catalytic activity of UiO-66(Ce) or UiO-66(Hf) with the outstanding stability of UiO-66(Zr). Using in situ high-pressure powder X-ray diffraction, however, we observe that this expected mechanical stability is not achieved when incorporating cerium or hafnium in UiO-66(Zr). This observation is akin to the earlier observed reduced thermal stability of UiO-66(Zr:Ce) compounds. To elucidate the atomic origin of this phenomenon, we chart the loss-of-crystallinity pressures of 22 monometallic and bimetallic UiO-66 materials and systematically isolate their intrinsic mechanical stability from their defect-induced weakening. This complementary experimental/computational approach reveals that the intrinsic mechanical stability of these bimetallic MOFs decreases nonlinearly upon cerium incorporation but remains unaffected by the zirconium:hafnium ratio. Additionally, all experimental samples suffer from defect-induced weakening, a synthesis-controlled effect that is observed to be independent of their intrinsic stability.

Light Olefin Diffusion during the MTO Process on H-SAPO-34: a Complex Interplay of Molecular Factors

P. Cnudde, R. Demuynck, S. Vandenbrande, M. Waroquier, G. Sastre, V. Van Speybroeck
JACS (Journal of the American Chemical Society)
142 (13), 6007-6017
2020
A1

Abstract 

The methanol-to-olefins process over H-SAPO-34 is characterized by its high shape selectivity toward light olefins. The catalyst is a supramolecular system consisting of nanometer-sized inorganic cages, decorated by Brønsted acid sites, in which organic compounds, mostly methylated benzene species, are trapped. These hydrocarbon pool species are essential to catalyze the methanol conversion but may also clog the pores. As such, diffusion of ethene and propene plays an essential role in determining the ultimate product selectivity. Enhanced sampling molecular dynamics simulations based on either force fields or density functional theory are used to determine how molecular factors influence the diffusion of light olefins through the 8-ring windows of H-SAPO-34. Our simulations show that diffusion through the 8-ring in general is a hindered process, corresponding to a hopping event of the diffusing molecule between neighboring cages. The loading of different methanol, alkene, and aromatic species in the cages may substantially slow down or facilitate the diffusion process. The presence of Brønsted acid sites in the 8-ring enhances the diffusion process due to the formation of a favorable π-complex host–guest interaction. Aromatic hydrocarbon pool species severely hinder the diffusion and their spatial distribution in the zeolite crystal may have a significant effect on the product selectivity. Herein, we unveil how molecular factors influence the diffusion of light olefins in a complex environment with confined hydrocarbon pool species, high olefin loadings, and the presence of acid sites by means of enhanced molecular dynamics simulations under operating conditions.

Thermal Engineering of Metal-Organic Frameworks for Adsorption Applications: A Molecular Simulations Perspective

J. Wieme, S. Vandenbrande, A. Lamaire, V. Kapil, L. Vanduyfhuys, V. Van Speybroeck
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
11 (42), 38697-38707
2019
A1

Abstract 

Thermal engineering of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) for adsorption-based applications is very topical in view of their industrial potential, especially since heat management and thermal stability have been identified as important obstacles. Hence, a fundamental understanding of the structural and chemical features underpinning their intrinsic thermal properties is highly sought-after. Herein, we investigate the nanoscale behavior of a diverse set of frameworks using molecular simulation techniques and critically compare properties such as thermal conductivity, heat capacity and thermal expansion with other material classes. Furthermore, we propose a hypothetical thermodynamic cycle to estimate the temperature rise associated with adsorption for the most important greenhouse and energy-related gases (CO2 and CH4). This macroscopic response on the heat of adsorption connects the intrinsic thermal properties with the adsorption properties, and allows us to evaluate their importance.

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

Ab initio evaluation of Henry coefficients using importance sampling

S. Vandenbrande, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck, T. Verstraelen
Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation
14 (12), 6359–6369
2018
A1

Abstract 

We present a new algorithm that allows for an efficient evaluation of the Henry coefficient of a guest molecule inside a porous material, which permits to use ab initio energy calculations. The Widom insertion method, which is currently used to compute these Henry coefficients, typically requires millions of energy evaluations. Our new methodology reduces this number by more than 1 order of magnitude, enabling the use of an ab initio potential energy surface. The methodology we propose is reminiscent of the well-known importance sampling technique which is frequently used in Monte Carlo integrations. First, a conventional Widom insertion simulation is performed using a force field. In the second step, the Widom results are used to select a limited number of configurations and only for these configurations the ab initio evaluation of the energy is required. Finally, by appropriately reweighting the latter energies, an accurate estimation of the ab initio Henry coefficient is possible at a moderate computational cost. We apply our methodology to the adsorption of CO2 in Mg-MOF-74, a prototypical case where interactions of a polar guest molecule with unsaturated metal sites dominate the adsorption mechanism. In this case generic force fields such as UFF or Dreiding are inappropriate and the use of ab initio methods is indispensable. In a second case study, we compute Henry coefficients of methane in UiO-66 using different levels of theory. We pay particular attention to the influence of the dispersion corrections and the role of many-body effects. For the final example, we qualitatively investigate adsorption features for a series of functionalized UiO-66 frameworks. Overall the cases we present show that accurate computations of Henry coefficients is extremely challenging, as different levels of theory provide strongly varying results. At the same time ab initio calculations have added value compared to force fields, as they provide a physically more sound description of the adsorption mechanism and in some cases clearly improve correspondence with experiment.

Open Access version available at UGent repository
Gold Open Access

i-PI 2.0: A Universal Force Engine for Advanced Molecular Simulations

V. Kapil, M. Rossi, O. Marsalek, R. Petraglia, Y. Litman, T. Spura, B. Cheng, A. Cuzzocrea, R.H. Meißner, D. Wilkins, P. Juda, S.P. Bienvenue, J. Kessler, I. Poltavsky, S. Vandenbrande, J. Wieme, C. Corminboeuf, T. Kühne, D. Manolopoulos, T. Markland, J. Richardson, A. Tkatchenko, G.A. Tribello, V. Van Speybroeck, M. Ceriotti
Computer Physics Communications
236, 214-223
2019
A1

Abstract 

Progress in the atomic-scale modelling of matter over the past decade has been tremendous. This progress has been brought about by improvements in methods for evaluating interatomic forces that work by either solving the electronic structure problem explicitly, or by computing accurate approximations of the solution and by the development of techniques that use the Born-Oppenheimer (BO) forces to move the atoms on the BO potential energy surface. As a consequence of these developments it is now possible to identify stable or metastable states, to sample configurations consistent with the appropriate thermodynamic ensemble, and to estimate the kinetics of reactions and phase transitions. All too often, however, progress is slowed down by the bottleneck associated with implementing new optimization algorithms and/or sampling techniques into the many existing electronic-structure and empirical-potential codes. To address this problem, we are thus releasing a new version of the i-PI software. This piece of software is an easily extensible framework for implementing advanced atomistic simulation techniques using interatomic potentials and forces calculated by an external driver code. While the original version of the code was developed with a focus on path integral molecular dynamics techniques, this second release of i-PI not only includes several new advanced path integral methods, but also offers other classes of algorithms. In other words, i-PI is moving towards becoming a universal force engine that is both modular and tightly coupled to the driver codes that evaluate the potential energy surface and its derivatives.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1808.03824

Open Access version available at UGent repository
Green 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

Influence of a confined methanol solvent on the reactivity of active sites in UiO-66

C. Caratelli, J. Hajek, S.M.J. Rogge, S. Vandenbrande, E.J. Meijer, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck
ChemPhysChem
19 (4), 420-429
2018
A1

Abstract 

UiO-66, composed of Zr-oxide bricks and terephthalate linkers, is currently one of the most studied metal-organic frameworks due to its exceptional stability. Defects can be introduced in the structure, creating undercoordinated Zr atoms which are Lewis acid sites. Here, additional Brønsted sites can be generated by coordinated protic species from the solvent. In this contribution, a multilevel modeling approach was applied to unravel the effect of a confined methanol solvent on the active sites in UiO-66. First, active sites were explored with static periodic density functional theory calculations to investigate adsorption of water and methanol. Solvent was then introduced in the pores with grand canonical Monte Carlo simulations, followed by a series of molecular dynamics simulations at operating conditions. A hydrogen-bonded network of methanol molecules is formed, allowing the protons to shuttle between solvent methanol, adsorbed water, and the inorganic brick. Upon deprotonation of an active site, the methanol solvent aids the transfer of protons and stabilizes charged configurations via hydrogen bonding, which could be crucial in stabilizing reactive intermediates. The multilevel modeling approach adopted here sheds light on the important role of a confined solvent on the active sites in the UiO-66 material, introducing dynamic acidity in the system at finite temperatures by which protons may be easily shuttled from various positions at the active sites.

Open Access version available at UGent repository
Gold Open Access

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - S. Vandenbrande