V. Van Speybroeck

Optical Properties of Isolated and Covalent Organic Framework-Embedded Ruthenium Complexes

F. Muniz-Miranda, L. De Bruecker, A. De Vos, F. Vanden Bussche, C.V. Stevens, P. Van der Voort, K. Lejaeghere, V. Van Speybroeck
Journal of Physical Chemistry A
123 (32), 6854-6867
2019
A1

Abstract 

Heterogenization of RuL3 complexes on a support with proper anchor points provides a route toward design of green catalysts. In this paper, Ru(II) polypyridyl complexes are investigated with the aim to unravel the influence on the photocatalytic properties of varying nitrogen content in the ligands and of embedding the complex in a triazine-based covalent organic framework. To provide fundamental insight into the electronic mechanisms underlying this behavior, a computational study is performed. Both the ground and excited state properties of isolated and anchored ruthenium complexes are theoretically investigated by means of density functional theory and time-dependent density functional theory. Varying the ligands among 2,2′-bipyridine, 2,2′-bipyrimidine, and 2,2′-bipyrazine allows us to tune to a certain extent the optical gaps and the metal to ligand charge transfer excitations. Heterogenization of the complex within a CTF support has a significant effect on the nature and energy of the electronic transitions. The allowed transitions are significantly red-shifted toward the near IR region and involve transitions from states localized on the CTF toward ligands attached to the ruthenium. The study shows how variations in ligands and anchoring on proper supports allows us to increase the range of wavelengths that may be exploited for photocatalysis.

Gold Open Access

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.

Pillared-layered metal-organic frameworks for mechanical energy storage applications

J. Wieme, S.M.J. Rogge, P.G. Yot, L. Vanduyfhuys, S.-K. Lee, J.-S. Chang, M. Waroquier, G. Maurin, V. Van Speybroeck
Journal of Materials Chemistry A
7 (39), 22663-22674
2019
A1

Abstract 

Herein we explore the unique potential of pillared-layered metal–organic frameworks of the DMOF-1 family for mechanical energy storage applications. In this work, we theoretically predict for the guest-free DMOF-1 a new contracted phase by exerting an external mechanical pressure of more than 200 MPa with respect to the stable phase at atmospheric pressure. The breathing transition is accompanied by a very large volume contraction of about 40%. The high transition pressures and associated volume changes make these materials highly promising with an outstanding mechanical energy work. Furthermore, we show that changing the nature of the metal allows to tune the behavior under mechanical pressure. The various phases were revealed by a combination of periodic density-functional theory calculations, force field molecular dynamics simulations and mercury intrusion experiments for DMOF-1(Zn) and DMOF-1(Cu). The combined experimental and theoretical approach allowed to discover the potential of these materials for new technological developments.

Gold Open Access

Thermal unequilibrium of strained black CsPbI3 thin films

J.A. Steele, H. Jin, I. Dovgaliuk, R.F. Berger, T. Braeckevelt, H. Yuan, C. Martin, E. Solano, K. Lejaeghere, S.M.J. Rogge, C. Notebaert, W. Vandezande, K.P.F. Janssen, B. Goderis, E. Debroye, Y.-K. Wang, Y. Dong, D. Ma, M. Saidaminov, H. Tan, Z. Lu, V. Dyadkin, D. Chernyshov, V. Van Speybroeck, E.H. Sargent, J. Hofkens, M. Roeffaers
Science
365 (6454), 679-684
2019
A1

Abstract 

The high-temperature all-inorganic CsPbI3 perovskite black phase is metastable relative to its yellow non-perovskite phase, at room temperature. Since only the black phase is optically active, this represents an impediment for the use of CsPbI3 in optoelectronic devices. We report the use of substrate clamping and biaxial strain to render stable, at room temperature, black phase CsPbI3 thin films. We used synchrotron-based grazing incidence wide angle x-ray scattering to track the introduction of crystal distortions and strain-driven texture formation within black CsPbI3 thin films when they were cooled following annealing at 330°C. The thermal stability of black CsPbI3 thin films is vastly improved by the strained interface, a response verified by ab initio thermodynamic modelling.

Open Access version available at UGent repository
Gold Open Access

A switchable domino process for the construction of novel CO2‐sourced sulfur‐containing building blocks and polymers

F. Ouhib, B. Grignard, E. Van den Broeck, A. Luxen, K. Robeyns, V. Van Speybroeck, C. Jerome, C. Detrembleur
Angewandte Chemie int. Ed.
58 (34), 11768-11773
2019
A1

Abstract 

α‐Alkylidene cyclic carbonates (αCCs) recently emerged as attractive CO2‐sourced synthons for the construction of complex organic molecules. Herein, we report the transformation of αCCs into novel families of sulfur‐containing compounds by organocatalyzed chemoselective addition of thiols, following a domino process that is switched on/off depending on the desired product. The process is extremely fast and versatile in substrate scope, provides selectively linear thiocarbonates or elusive tetrasubstituted ethylene carbonates with high yields following a 100 % atom economy reaction, and valorizes CO2 as a renewable feedstock. It is also exploited to produce a large diversity of unprecedented functional polymers. It constitutes a robust platform for the design of new sulfur‐containing organic synthons and important families of polymers.

Insight into the role of water on the methylation of hexamethylbenzene in H-SAPO-34 from first principle molecular dynamics simulations

S. Bailleul, S.M.J. Rogge, L. Vanduyfhuys, V. Van Speybroeck
ChemCatChem
11 (16), 3993-4010
2019
A1

Abstract 

The methylation of hexamethylbenzene with methanol is one of the key reactions in the methanol‐to‐olefins hydrocarbon pool reaction cycle taking place over the industrially relevant H‐SAPO‐34 zeolite. This methylation reaction can occur either via a concerted or via a stepwise mechanism, the latter being the preferred pathway at higher temperatures. Herein, we systematically investigate how a complex reaction environment with additional water molecules and higher concentrations of Brønsted acid sites in the zeolite impacts the reaction mechanism. To this end, first principle molecular dynamics simulations are performed using enhanced sampling methods to characterize the reactants and products in the catalyst pores and to construct the free energy profiles. The most prominent effect of the dynamic sampling of the reaction path is the stabilization of the product region where water is formed, which can either move freely in the pores of the zeolite or be stabilized through hydrogen bonding with the other protic molecules. These protic molecules also stabilize the deprotonated Brønsted acid site, created due to the formation of the heptamethylbenzenium cation, via a Grotthuss‐type mechanism. Our results provide fundamental insight in the experimental parameters that impact the methylation of hexamethylbenzene in H‐SAPO‐34, especially highlighting and rationalizing the crucial role of water in one of the main reactions of the aromatics‐based reaction cycle.

Gold Open Access

Effect of zeolite topology and reactor configuration on the direct conversion of CO2 to light olefins and aromatics

A. Ramirez Galilea, A. Dutta Chowdhury, A. Dokania, P. Cnudde, M. Caglayan, I. Yarulina, E. Abou-Hamad, L. Gevers, S. Ould-Chikh, K. De Wispelaere, V. Van Speybroeck, J. Gascon
ACS Catalysis
9, 6320-6334
2019
A1

Collective action of water molecules in zeolite dealumination

M. Nielsen, A. Hafreager, R. Brogaard, K. De Wispelaere, H. Falsig, P. Beato, V. Van Speybroeck, S. Svelle
Catalysis Science & Technology
9 (14), 3721-3725
2019
A1

Abstract 

When exposed to steam, zeolite catalysts are irreversibly deactivated by loss of acidity and framework degradation caused by dealumination. Steaming typically occurs at elevated temperatures, making it challenging to investigate the mechanism with most approaches. Herein, we follow the dynamics of zeolite dealumination in situ, in the presence of a realistic loading of water molecules by means of enhanced sampling molecular dynamics simulations. H-SSZ-13 zeolite is chosen as a target system. Monte Carlo simulations predict a loading of more than 3 water molecules per unit cell at representative steaming conditions (450 °C, 1 bar steam). Our results show that a higher water loading lowers the free energy barrier of dealumination, as water molecules cooperate to facilitate hydrolysis of Al–O bonds. We find free energies of activation for dealumination that agree well with the available experimental measurements. Clearly, the use of enhanced sampling molecular dynamics yields a major step forward in the molecular level understanding of the dealumination; insight which is very hard to derive experimentally.

Gold Open Access

Electronic properties of heterogenized Ru(II) polypyridyl photoredox complexes on covalent triazine frameworks

A. De Vos, K. Lejaeghere, F. Muniz-Miranda, C. Stevens, P. Van der Voort, V. Van Speybroeck
Journal of Materials Chemistry A
7, 8433-8442
2019
A1

Abstract 

Ru(II) polypyridyl complexes have been successful for a wide range of photoredox applications thanks to their efficient light-induced metal-to-ligand charge transfer. Using the computational framework of density-functional theory, we report how these complexes can be anchored onto covalent triazine frameworks while maintaining their favorable electronic properties. We moreover show that variation of the nitrogen content of the framework linkers or complex ligands endows the heterogenized catalyst with a unique versatility, spanning a wide range of absorption characteristics and redox potentials. By judiciously choosing the catalyst building blocks, it is even possible to selectively guide the charge transfer toward either the scaffold or the accessible pore sites. Rational design of sustainable and efficient photocatalysts thus comes within reach.

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