Methane Adsorption in Zr-Based MOFs: Comparison and Critical Evaluation of Force Fields

S. Vandenbrande, T. Verstraelen, J. J. Gutierrez-Sevillano, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck
Journal of Physical Chemistry C
121 (45), 25309-25322


The search for nanoporous materials that are highly performing for gas storage and separation is one of the contemporary challenges in material design. The computational tools to aid these experimental efforts are widely available and adsorption isotherms are routinely computed for huge sets of (hypothetical) frameworks. Clearly the computational results depend on the interactions between the adsorbed species and the adsorbent, which are commonly described using force fields. In this paper, an extensive comparison and in-depth investigation of several force fields from literature is reported for the case of methane adsorption in the Zr-based Metal-Organic Frameworks UiO-66, UiO-67, DUT-52, NU-1000 and MOF-808. Significant quantitative differences in the computed uptake are observed when comparing different force fields, but most qualitative features are common which suggests some predictive power of the simulations when it comes to these properties. More insight into to the host-guest interactions is obtained by benchmarking the force fields with an extensive number of ab initio computed single molecule interaction energies. This analysis at the molecular level reveals that especially ab initio derived force fields perform well in reproducing the ab initio interaction energies. Finally, the high sensitivity of uptake predictions on the underlying potential energy surface is explored.

Open Access version available at UGent repository
Gold Open Access