344 research outputs found

    When atomic-scale resolution is not enough: Spatial effects in in situ model catalyst studies

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    We investigate transport effects in in situ studies of defined model catalysts using a multi-scale modeling approach integrating first-principles kinetic Monte Carlo simulations into a fluid dynamical treatment. We specifically address two isothermal flow setups: i) a channel flow with the gas-stream approaching the single crystal from the side, as is representative for reactor scanning tunneling microscopy experiments; and ii) a stagnation flow with perpendicular impingement. Using the CO oxidation at RuO2 (110) as showcase we obtain substantial variations in the gas-phase pressures between the inlet and the catalyst surface. In the channel geometry the mass transfer limitations lead furthermore to pronounced lateral changes in surface composition across the catalyst surface. This prevents the aspired direct relation between activity and catalyst structure. For the stagnation flow the lateral variations are restricted to the edges of the catalyst. This allows to access the desired structure-activity relation using a simple model.Comment: 22 pages, 7 figure

    Modeling Heat Dissipation at the Nanoscale: An Embedding Approach for Chemical Reaction Dynamics on Metal Surfaces

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    We present an embedding technique for metallic systems that makes it possible to model energy dissipation into substrate phonons during surface chemical reactions from first principles. The separation of chemical and elastic contributions to the interaction potential provides a quantitative description of both electronic and phononic band structure. Application to the dissociation of O2_2 at Pd(100) predicts translationally "hot" oxygen adsorbates as a consequence of the released adsorption energy (ca. 2.6 eV). This finding questions the instant thermalization of reaction enthalpies generally assumed in models of heterogeneous catalysis.Comment: 6 pages, 2 figure

    First-principles thermodynamic screening approach to photo-catalytic water splitting with co-catalysts

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    We adapt the computational hydrogen electrode approach to explicitly account for photo-generated charges and use it to computationally screen for viable catalyst/co-catalyst combinations for photo-catalytic water splitting. The hole energy necessary to thermodynamically drive the reaction is employed as descriptor for the screening process. Using this protocol and hybrid-level density-functional theory we show that water oxidation on bare TiO2 surfaces is thermodynamically more complex than previously thought. This motivates a screening for suitable co-catalysts for this half-reaction, which we carry out for Au particles down to the non-scalable size regime. We find that almost all small Au clusters studied are better suited for water photo-oxidation than an extended Au(111) surface or bare TiO2 facets.Comment: 5 pages, 3 figure

    MMSi20_{20}H20_{20} Aggregates: From Simple Building Blocks to Highly Magnetic Functionalized Materials

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    Density-functional theory based global geometry optimization is used to scrutinize the possibility of using endohedrally-doped hydrogenated Si clusters as building blocks for constructing highly magnetic materials. In contrast to the known clathrate-type facet-sharing, the clusters exhibit a predisposition to aggregation through double Si-Si bridge bonds. For the prototypical CrSi20_{20}H20_{20} cluster we show that reducing the degree of hydrogenation may be used to control the number of reactive sites to which other cages can be attached, while still preserving the structural integrity of the building block itself. This leads to a toolbox of CrSi20_{20}H202n_{20-2n} monomers with different number of double "docking sites", that allows building network architectures of any morphology. For (CrSi20_{20}H18_{18})2_{2} dimer and [CrSi20_{20}H16_{16}](CrSi20_{20}H18_{18})2_{2} trimer structures we illustrate that such aggregates conserve the high spin moments of the dopant atoms and are therefore most attractive candidates for cluster-assembled materials with unique magnetic properties. The study suggests that the structural completion of the individual endohedral cages within the doubly-bridge bonded structures and the high thermodynamic stability of the obtained aggregates are crucial for potential synthetic polymerization routes viavia controlled dehydrogenation

    Structure Sensitivity in Oxide Catalysis: First-Principles Kinetic Monte Carlo Simulations for CO Oxidation at RuO2_2(111)

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    We present a density-functional theory based kinetic Monte Carlo study of CO oxidation at the (111) facet of RuO2_2. We compare the detailed insight into elementary processes, steady-state surface coverages and catalytic activity to equivalent published simulation data for the frequently studied RuO2_2(110) facet. Qualitative differences are identified in virtually every aspect ranging from binding energetics over lateral interactions to the interplay of elementary processes at the different active sites. Nevertheless, particularly at technologically relevant elevated temperatures, near-ambient pressures and near-stoichiometric feeds both facets exhibit almost identical catalytic activity. These findings challenge the traditional definition of structure sensitivity based on macroscopically observable turnover frequencies and allow to scrutinize the applicability of structure sensitivity classifications developed for metals to oxide catalysis.Comment: 15 pages, 5 figure

    Computational design of metal-supported molecular switches: Transient ion formation during light- and electron-induced isomerisation of azobenzene

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    In molecular nanotechnology, a single molecule is envisioned to act as the basic building block of electronic devices. Such devices may be of special interest for organic photovoltaics, data storage, and smart materials. However, more often than not the molecular function is quenched upon contact with a conducting support. Trial-and-error-based decoupling strategies via molecular functionalisation and change of substrate have in many instances proven to yield unpredictable results. The adsorbate-substrate interactions that govern the function can be understood with the help of first-principles simulation. Employing dispersion-corrected Density-Functional Theory (DFT) and linear expansion Delta-Self-Consistent-Field DFT, the electronic structure of a prototypical surface-adsorbed functional molecule, namely azobenzene adsorbed to (111) single crystal facets of copper, silver and gold, is investigated and the main reasons for the loss or survival of the switching function upon adsorption are identified. The light-induced switching ability of a functionalised derivative of azobenzene on Au(111) and azobenzene on Ag(111) and Au(111) is assessed based on the excited-state potential energy landscapes of their transient molecular ions, which are believed to be the main intermediates of the experimentally observed isomerisation reaction. We provide a rationalisation of the experimentally observed function or lack thereof that connects to the underlying chemistry of the metal-surface interaction and provides insights into general design strategies for complex light-driven reactions at metal surfaces.Comment: 14 pages, 5 figures, submitted to J. Phys. Condens. Matte

    Bistability loss as key feature in azobenzene (non-)switching on metal surfaces

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    Coinage metal adsorbed azobenzene is investigated as prototypical molecular switch. It is shown that switching capabilities are not just lost due to excited state quenching, but already due to changes in the ground state energetics. Electron demanding coadsorbates are suggested as strategy to regain the switching function.Comment: 8 pages, 3 figure

    Assessing computationally efficient isomerization dynamics: Delta-SCF density-functional theory study of azobenzene molecular switching

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    We present a detailed comparison of the S0, S1 (n -> \pi*) and S2 (\pi -> \pi*) potential energy surfaces (PESs) of the prototypical molecular switch azobenzene as obtained by Delta-self-consistent-field (Delta-SCF) Density-Functional Theory (DFT), time-dependent DFT (TD-DFT) and approximate Coupled Cluster Singles and Doubles (RI-CC2). All three methods unanimously agree in terms of the PES topologies, which are furthermore fully consistent with existing experimental data concerning the photo-isomerization mechanism. In particular, sum-method corrected Delta-SCF and TD-DFT yield very similar results for S1 and S2, when based on the same ground-state exchange-correlation (xc) functional. While these techniques yield the correct PES topology already on the level of semi-local xc functionals, reliable absolute excitation energies as compared to RI-CC2 or experiment require an xc treatment on the level of long-range corrected hybrids. Nevertheless, particularly the robustness of Delta-SCF with respect to state crossings as well as its numerical efficiency suggest this approach as a promising route to dynamical studies of larger azobenzene-containing systems.Comment: 25 pages, 6 figure
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