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Title: Structural Analysis of Char by Raman Spectroscopy: Improving Band Assignments through Computational Calculations from First Principles

Raman spectroscopy is a powerful tool for the characterization of many carbon 27 species. The complex heterogeneous nature of chars and activated carbons has confounded 28 complete analysis due to the additional shoulders observed on the D-band and high intensity 29 valley between the D and G-bands. In this paper the effects of various vacancy and substitution 30 defects have been systematically analyzed via molecular modeling using density functional 31 theory (DFT) and how this is manifested in the calculated gas-phase Raman spectra. The 32 accuracy of these calculations was validated by comparison with (solid-phase) experimental 33 spectra, with a small correction factor being applied to improve the accuracy of frequency 34 predictions. The spectroscopic effects on the char species are best understood in terms of a 35 reduced symmetry as compared to a “parent” coronene molecule. Based upon the simulation 36 results, the shoulder observed in chars near 1200 cm-1 has been assigned to the totally symmetric 37 A1g vibrations of various small polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) as well as those containing 38 rings of seven or more carbons. Intensity between 1400 cm-1 and 1450 cm-1 is assigned to A1g 39 type vibrations present in small PAHs and especially thosemore » containing cyclopentane rings. 40 Finally, band intensity between 1500 cm-1 and 1550 cm-1 is ascribed to predominately E2g 41 vibrational modes in strained PAH systems. A total of ten potential bands have been assigned 42 between 1000 cm-1 and 1800 cm-1. These fitting parameters have been used to deconvolute a 43 thermoseries of cellulose chars produced by pyrolysis at 300-700 °C. The results of the 44 deconvolution show consistent growth of PAH clusters with temperature, development of non-45 benzyl rings as temperature increases and loss of oxygenated features between 400 °C and 46 600 °C« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Carbon, 100:678-692
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States