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Author ORCID ID is 0000000346538562
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  1. Scientific interest in two-dimensional (2D) materials, ranging from graphene and other single layer materials to atomically thin crystals, is quickly increasing for a large variety of technological applications. While in silico design approaches have made a large impact in the study of 3D crystals, algorithms designed to discover atomically thin 2D materials from their parent 3D materials are by comparison more sparse. Here, we hypothesize that determining how to cut a 3D material in half (i.e., which Miller surface is formed) by severing a minimal number of bonds or a minimal amount of total bond energy per unit area canmore » yield insight into preferred crystal faces. We answer this question by implementing a graph theory technique to mathematically formalize the enumeration of minimum cut surfaces of crystals. While the algorithm is generally applicable to different classes of materials, we focus on zeolitic materials due to their diverse structural topology and because 2D zeolites have promising catalytic and separation performance compared to their 3D counterparts. We report here a simple descriptor based only on structural information that predicts whether a zeolite is likely to be synthesizable in the 2D form and correctly identifies the expressed surface in known layered 2D zeolites. The discovery of this descriptor allows us to highlight other zeolites that may also be synthesized in the 2D form that have not been experimentally realized yet. Finally, our method is general since the mathematical formalism can be applied to find the minimum cut surfaces of other crystallographic materials such as metal-organic frameworks, covalent-organic frameworks, zeolitic-imidazolate frameworks, metal oxides, etc.« less
  2. Metal-organic frameworks are promising materials for energy-efficient gas separations, but little is known about the diffusion of adsorbates in materials featuring one-dimensional porosity at the nanoscale. An understanding of the interplay between framework structure and gas diffusion is crucial for the practical application of these materials as adsorbents or in mixed-matrix membranes, since the rate of gas diffusion within the adsorbent pores impacts the required size (and therefore cost) of the adsorbent column or membrane. Here, we investigate the diffusion of CO 2 within the pores of Zn 2(dobpdc) (dobpdc4-= 4,4'-dioxidobiphenyl-3,3'-dicarboxylate) using pulsed field gradient (PFG) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)more » spectroscopy and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The residual chemical shift anisotropy for pore-confined CO 2 allows PFG NMR measurements of self-diffusion in different crystallographic directions, and our analysis of the entire NMR line shape as a function of the applied field gradient provides a precise determination of the self-diffusion coefficients. In addition to observing CO 2 diffusion through the channels parallel to the crystallographic c axis (self-diffusion coefficient D∥= (5.8 ± 0.1) × 10-9m2s-1at a pressure of 625 mbar CO 2), we unexpectedly find that CO 2 is also able to diffuse between the hexagonal channels in the crystallographic ab plane (D⊥= (1.9 ± 0.2) × 10-10m2s-1), despite the walls of these channels appearing impermeable by single-crystal X-ray crystallography and flexible lattice MD simulations. Observation of such unexpected diffusion in the ab plane suggests the presence of defects that enable effective multidimensional CO 2 transport in a metal-organic framework with nominally one-dimensional porosity.« less
  3. The copper paddle-wheel is the building unit of many metal organic frameworks. Because of the ability of the copper cations to attract polar molecules, copper paddle-wheels are promising for carbon dioxide adsorption and separation. They have therefore been studied extensively, both experimentally and computationally. In this work we investigate the copper–CO 2 interaction in HKUST-1 and in two different cluster models of HKUST-1: monocopper Cu(formate) 2 and dicopper Cu 2(formate) 4. We show that density functional theory methods severely underestimate the interaction energy between copper paddle-wheels and CO 2, even including corrections for the dispersion forces. In contrast, a multireferencemore » wave function followed by perturbation theory to second order using the CASPT2 method correctly describes this interaction. The restricted open-shell Møller–Plesset 2 method (ROS-MP2, equivalent to (2,2) CASPT2) was also found to be adequate in describing the system and used to develop a novel force field. Our parametrization is able to predict the experimental CO 2 adsorption isotherms in HKUST-1, and it is shown to be transferable to other copper paddle-wheel systems.« less
  4. Pore volume is one of the main properties for the characterization of microporous crystals. It is experimentally measurable, and it can also be obtained from the refined unit cell by a number of computational techniques. In this work, we assess the accuracy and the discrepancies between the different computational methods which are commonly used for this purpose, i.e, geometric, helium, and probe center pore volumes, by studying a database of more than 5000 frameworks. We developed a new technique to fully characterize the internal void of a microporous material and to compute the probe-accessible and -occupiable pore volume. Lasty, wemore » show that, unlike the other definitions of pore volume, the occupiable pore volume can be directly related to the experimentally measured pore volumes from nitrogen isotherms.« less
  5. For this, we combined nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to study xylene behavior in MOF-5, probing the effects of adsorbate geometry in a weakly interacting model isotropic metal organic framework (MOF) system. We employed NMR diffusometry and relaxometry techniques at low field (13 MHz) to quantify the self-diffusion coefficients (D s) and the longitudinal relaxation times (T 1) of xylenes in MOF-5 as a function of temperature at the saturated loading for each xylene. These experiments reveal the translational motion activation energies to be 15.3, 19.7, and 21.2 kj mol -1 and the rotational activation energiesmore » to be 47.26, 12.88, and 11.55 for the (p-, m-, o-) xylene isomers, respectively. Paraxylene exhibits faster translational motion, yet shows four times the activation energy barrier for rotational motion vis-à-vis the other isomers. MD simulations performed on these model systems corroborate the findings for paraxylene and suggest that paraxylene has the lower free energy barrier for hopping away from its binding sites, yet has the slowest rotational motion in the plane of the xylene molecule.« less

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