329 results found
Camino B, Zhou H, Ascrizzi E, et al., 2023, CRYSTALpytools: a Python infrastructure for the Crystal code, Computer Physics Communications, Vol: 292, ISSN: 0010-4655
CRYSTALpytools is an open source Python project available on GitHub that implements a user-friendly interface to the Crystal code for quantum-mechanical condensed matter simulations. CRYSTALpytools provides functionalities to: i) write and read Crystal input and output files for a range of calculations (single-point, electronic structure, geometry optimization, harmonic and quasi-harmonic lattice dynamics, elastic tensor evaluation, topological analysis of the electron density, electron transport, and others); ii) extract relevant information; iii) create workflows; iv) post-process computed quantities, and v) plot results in a variety of styles for rapid and precise visual analysis. Furthermore, CRYSTALpytools allows the user to translate Crystal objects (the central data structure of the project) to and from the Structure and Atoms objects of the pymatgen and ASE libraries, respectively. These tools can be used to create, manipulate and visualise complicated structures and write them efficiently to Crystal input files. Jupyter Notebooks have also been developed for the less Python savvy users to guide them in the use of CRYSTALpytools through a user-friendly graphical interface with predefined workflows to complete different specific tasks.
Ahmad EA, Al-Kindi M, Aboura Y, et al., 2023, Sweet corrosion scale: Structure and energetics of siderite facets, APPLIED SURFACE SCIENCE, Vol: 635, ISSN: 0169-4332
Mistry EDR, Lubert-Perquel D, Nevjestic I, et al., 2023, Paramagnetic states in oxygen-doped boron nitride extend light harvesting and photochemistry to the deep visible region, Chemistry of Materials, Vol: 35, Pages: 1858-1867, ISSN: 0897-4756
A family of boron nitride (BN)-based photocatalysts for solar fuel syntheses have recently emerged. Studies have shown that oxygen doping, leading to boron oxynitride (BNO), can extend light absorption to the visible range. However, the fundamental question surrounding the origin of enhanced light harvesting and the role of specific chemical states of oxygen in BNO photochemistry remains unanswered. Here, using an integrated experimental and first-principles-based computational approach, we demonstrate that paramagnetic isolated OB3 states are paramount to inducing prominent red-shifted light absorption. Conversely, we highlight the diamagnetic nature of O–B–O states, which are shown to cause undesired larger band gaps and impaired photochemistry. This study elucidates the importance of paramagnetism in BNO semiconductors and provides fundamental insight into its photophysics. The work herein paves the way for tailoring of its optoelectronic and photochemical properties for solar fuel synthesis.
Li B, Xiao C, Harrison N, et al., 2023, Role of electron localisation in H adsorption and hydride formation in the Mg basal plane under aqueous corrosion: a first-principles study, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Vol: 25, Pages: 5989-6001, ISSN: 1463-9076
Understanding hydrogen-metal interactions is important in various fields of surface science, including the aqueous corrosion of metals. The interaction between atomic H and a Mg surface is a key process for the formation of sub-surface Mg hydride, which may play an important role in Mg aqueous corrosion. In the present work, we performed first-principles Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations to study the mechanisms for hydrogen adsorption and crystalline Mg hydride formation under aqueous conditions. The Electron Localisation Function (ELF) is found to be a promising indicator for predicting stable H adsorption in the Mg surface. It is found that H adsorption and hydride layer formation is dominated by high ELF adsorption sites. Our calculations suggest that the on-surface adsorption of atomic H, OH radicals and atomic O could enhance the electron localisation at specific sites in the sub-surface region, thus forming effective H traps locally. This is predicted to result in the formation of a thermodynamically stable sub-surface hydride layer, which is a potential precursor of the crucial hydride corrosion product of magnesium.
Zhang W, Guo D, Wang L, et al., 2023, X-ray diffraction measurements and computational prediction of residual stress mitigation scanning strategies in powder bed fusion additive manufacturing, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, Vol: 61, ISSN: 2214-8604
Zivkovic A, Mallia G, King HE, et al., 2022, Mind the Interface Gap: Exposing Hidden Interface Defects at the Epitaxial Heterostructure between CuO and Cu2O, ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, ISSN: 1944-8244
Zhou H, Mallia G, Harrison NM, 2022, Strain-Tuneable Magnetism and Spintronics of Distorted Monovacancies in Graphene, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, Vol: 126, Pages: 19435-19445, ISSN: 1932-7447
Kousar K, Dowhyj M, Walczak MS, et al., 2022, Corrosion inhibition in acidic environments: key interfacial insights with photoelectron spectroscopy, FARADAY DISCUSSIONS, Vol: 236, Pages: 374-388, ISSN: 1359-6640
Restuccia P, Ahmad EA, Harrison NM, 2022, A transferable prediction model of molecular adsorption on metals based on adsorbate and substrate properties, PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS, Vol: 24, Pages: 16545-16555, ISSN: 1463-9076
Fogarty R, Li B, Harrison N, et al., 2022, Structure and interactions at the Mg(0001)/water interface: An ab initio study, Journal of Chemical Physics, Vol: 156, ISSN: 0021-9606
A molecular level understanding of metal/bulk water interface structure is key for a wide range of processes including aqueous corrosion, our focus, but their buried nature makes experimental investigation difficult and means we must mainly rely on simulations. We investigate the Mg(0001)/water interface using second generation Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics (MD) to gain structural information, combined with static density functional theory calculations to probe the atomic interactions and electronic structure (e.g calculating the potential of zero charge). By performing detailed structural analyses of both metal-surface atoms and the near-surface water we find, amongst other insights: i) water adsorption causes significant surface roughening, ii) strongly adsorbed water covers only one quarter of available surface sites and iii) adsorbed water avoids clustering on the surface. Static calculations are used to gain a deeper understanding of the structuring observed in MD. For example, we use an energy decomposition analysis combined with calculated atomic charges to show adsorbate clustering is unfavorable due to Coulombic repulsion between adsorption site surface atoms. Results are discussed in the context of previous simulations of metal/water interfaces. The largest differences for the Mg(0001)/water system appear to be the high degree of surface distortion and minimal difference between the metal work function and metal/water potential of zero charge. The structural information in this paper is important for understanding aqueous Mg corrosion, as the Mg(0001)/water interface is the starting point for key reactions. Furthermore, our focus on understanding the driving forces behind this structuring leads to important insights for general metal/water interfaces.
Alaithan ZA, Mallia G, Harrison NM, 2022, Monomolecular Cracking of Propane: Effect of Zeolite Confinement and Acidity, ACS OMEGA, Vol: 7, Pages: 7531-7540, ISSN: 2470-1343
Bower R, Wells MP, Johnson F, et al., 2021, Tunable double epsilon-near-zero behavior in niobium oxynitride thin films, Applied Surface Science, Vol: 569, Pages: 150912-150912, ISSN: 0169-4332
Alaithan ZA, Harrison N, Sastre G, 2021, Diffusivity of Propylene in One-Dimensional Medium-Pore Zeolites, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, Vol: 125, Pages: 19200-19208, ISSN: 1932-7447
Kousar K, Walczak MS, Ljungdahl T, et al., 2021, Corrosion inhibition of carbon steel in hydrochloric acid: Elucidating the performance of an imidazoline-based surfactant, Corrosion Engineering Science and Technology, Vol: 180, Pages: 1-8, ISSN: 0007-0599
A combination of electrochemical measurement and interface analysis have been applied to characterise the interaction of OMID, an exemplar imidazoline-based corrosion inhibitor, with carbon steel in 1 M hydrochloric acid. Corrosion inhibition efficiency data indicate that excellent performance is achieved well below the critical micelle concentration. High resolution X-ray photoelectron spectra demonstrate that, as the corrosion rate decreases, the interface evolves towards one comprising OMID bound to film-free carbon steel. This latter result provides key input for those researchers attempting to predict corrosion inhibitor functionality through atomic scale interfacial modelling, and so identify next generation chemistries.
Acres MJ, Hussain H, Walczak MS, et al., 2020, Core level photoemission line shape selection: Atomic adsorbates on iron, Surface and Interface Analysis, Vol: 52, Pages: 507-512, ISSN: 0142-2421
Robust fitting of core level photoemission spectra is often central to reliable interpretation of X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) data. One key element is employment of the correct line shape function for each spectral component. In this study, we consider this topic, focusing on XPS data from atomic adsorbates, namely, O and S, on Fe(110). The potential of employing density functional theory (DFT) for generating adsorbate projected electronic density of states (PDOS) to support line shape selection is explored. O 1s core level XPS spectra, acquired from various ordered overlayers of chemisorbed O, all display an equivalent asymmetric line shape. Previous work suggests that this asymmetry is a result of finite O PDOS in the vicinity of the Fermi level, allowing O 1s photoexcitation to induce a weighted continuum of final states through electron‐hole pair excitation. This origin is corroborated by O DFT‐PDOS generated for an optimised five‐layer Fe(110)(2 × 2)‐O slab. Adsorbate DFT‐PDOS were also computed for Fe(110) urn:x-wiley:01422421:media:sia6770:sia6770-math-0001 ‐S. As, similar to adsorbed O, there is a significant continuous distribution of states about the Fermi level, it is proposed that the S 2p XPS core levels should also have asymmetric profiles. S 2p XPS data acquired from Fe(110) urn:x-wiley:01422421:media:sia6770:sia6770-math-0002 ‐S, and their subsequent fitting, verify this prediction, suggesting that DFT‐PDOS could aid line shape selection.
O'Hara EM, Phelan B, Osgerby S, et al., 2020, Experimental and computational characterization of the effect of manufacturing-induced defects on high temperature, low-cycle fatigue for MarBN, MATERIALIA, Vol: 12, ISSN: 2589-1529
Dovesi R, Pascale F, Civalleri B, et al., 2020, The CRYSTAL code, 1976-2020 and beyond, a long story, Journal of Chemical Physics, Vol: 152, Pages: 1-34, ISSN: 0021-9606
CRYSTAL is a periodic ab initio code that uses a Gaussian-type basis set to express crystalline orbitals (i.e., Bloch functions). The use of atom-centered basis functions allows treating 3D (crystals), 2D (slabs), 1D (polymers), and 0D (molecules) systems on the same grounds. In turn, all-electron calculations are inherently permitted along with pseudopotential strategies. A variety of density functionals are implemented, including global and range-separated hybrids of various natures and, as an extreme case, Hartree–Fock (HF). The cost for HF or hybrids is only about 3–5 times higher than when using the local density approximation or the generalized gradient approximation. Symmetry is fully exploited at all steps of the calculation. Many tools are available to modify the structure as given in input and simplify the construction of complicated objects, such as slabs, nanotubes, molecules, and clusters. Many tensorial properties can be evaluated by using a single input keyword: elastic, piezoelectric, photoelastic, dielectric, first and second hyperpolarizabilities, etc. The calculation of infrared and Raman spectra is available, and the intensities are computed analytically. Automated tools are available for the generation of the relevant configurations of solid solutions and/or disordered systems. Three versions of the code exist: serial, parallel, and massive-parallel. In the second one, the most relevant matrices are duplicated on each core, whereas in the third one, the Fock matrix is distributed for diagonalization. All the relevant vectors are dynamically allocated and deallocated after use, making the code very agile. CRYSTAL can be used efficiently on high performance computing machines up to thousands of cores.
Otter J, Brophy K, Palmer J, et al., 2020, Smart surfaces to tackle infection and antimicrobial resistance, Briefing Paper
Abualnaja F, Hildebrand M, Harrison NM, 2020, Ripples in isotropically compressed graphene, Computational Materials Science, Vol: 173, Pages: 1-5, ISSN: 0927-0256
An isotropic compression of graphene is shown to induce a structural deformation on the basis of Density Functional Perturbation Theory. Static instabilities, indicated by imaginary frequency phonon modes, are induced in the high symmetry -K (zigzag) and -M (armchair) directions by an isotropic compressive strain of the graphene sheet. The wavelength of the unstable modes (ripples) is directly related to the magnitude of the strain and remarkably insensitive to the direction of propagation in the 2D lattice. These calculations further suggest that the formation energy of the ripple is isotropic for lower strains and becomes anisotropic for larger strains. This is a result of graphene’s elastic property, which is dependent on direction and strain. Within the quasi-harmonic approximation this is combined with the observation that molecular adsorption energies depend strongly on curvature to suggest a strategy for generating ordered overlayers in order to tune the functional properties of graphene.
Chang V, Camino B, Noakes TCQ, et al., 2020, Theoretical study of the influence of hydrides on the performance of Mg and Y photocathodes, Journal of Applied Physics, Vol: 127, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 0021-8979
Our understanding of material properties in the broadest sense is based on our ability to observe and disentangle underlying mechanisms. This has been aided enormously by the discovery and exploitation of synchrotron radiation. The next generation of light sources will be based on free electron lasers with potentially much greater light intensity and time resolution. This requires the development of new photocathode materials with high quantum efficiency (QE) and low emittance that are chemically and mechanically robust. One prospect is the use of yttrium (Y) and/or magnesium (Mg) thin films, but here, a fundamental understanding of the photoemission process from realistic materials is lacking. Observations of photoemissive performance would appear to contradict simple models. It is well known that materials with a lower work function are expected to facilitate photoemission, but the measured QE of Mg is higher than that of Y despite its nominal work function (3.7 eV) being significantly higher than that of Y (3.1 eV). In this work, these apparently anomalous observations are explained and rationalized by combining a simple three-step model of photoemission with large scale density functional theory calculations to predict the QE for realistic models of both materials in a special chemical environment. This approach allows us to identify the material parameters that govern the efficiency of the photoemission process. A detailed comparison with the experimental data suggests that, in this case, hydride formation on the Y surface, invisible to most experimental probes, nevertheless has a surprisingly large influence and reduces the photoemission significantly.
Tseng HH, Serri M, Harrison N, et al., 2020, Properties and degradation of manganese(III) porphyrin thin films formed by high vacuum sublimation, Porphyrin Science By Women (In 3 Volumes), Pages: 924-931, ISBN: 9789811223556
Manganese porphyrins are of interest due to the optical, electronic and magnetic properties of the central metal ion, coupled to the low bandgap of the polyaromatic ring. These attractive characteristics are harnessed in solutions or in ultra-thin films, such as, for example, self-assembled monolayers. However, for devices, thicker films deposited using a controlled and reproducible method are required. Here we present the morphological, structural, chemical and optical properties of manganese(III) tetraphenylporphyrin chloride (MnTPPCl) thin films deposited using organic molecular beam deposition, typically employed to process analogue molecules for applications such as organic photovoltaics. We find, using a combination of UV-vis and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopies, that the sublimation process leads to the scission of the Mn-Cl bond. The resultant film is a Mn(II)TPP:Mn(III)TPPCl blend where approximately half the molecules have been reduced. Following growth, exposure to air oxidizes the Mn(II)TPP molecule. Through quantitative analysis of the time-dependent optical properties, the oxygen diffusion coefficient (D) ~1.9 × 10-17 cm2/s is obtained, corresponding to a slow bulk oxidation following fast oxidation of a 8-nm-thick surface layer. The bulk diffusion D is lower than for analogous polycrystalline films, suggestion that grain boundaries, rather than molecular packing, are the rate-limiting steps in oxidation of molecular films. Our results highlight that the stability of the axial ligands should be considered when depositing metal porphyrins from the vapor phase, and offer a solvent-free route to obtain reproducible and smooth thin films of complex materials for engineering film functionalities.
Tseng H-H, Serri M, Harrison N, et al., 2019, Properties and degradation of manganese(III) porphyrin thin films formed by high vacuum sublimation, Journal of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines, Vol: 23, Pages: 1515-1522, ISSN: 1088-4246
Manganese porphyrins are of interest due to the optical, electronic and magnetic properties of the central metal ion, coupled to the low bandgap of the polyaromatic ring. These attractive characteristics are harnessed in solutions or in ultra-thin films, such as, for example, self-assembled monolayers. However, for devices, thicker films deposited using a controlled and reproducible method are required. Here we present the morphological, structural, chemical and optical properties of manganese(III) tetraphenylporphyrin chloride (MnTPPCl) thin films deposited using organic molecular beam deposition, typically employed to process analogue molecules for applications such as organic photovoltaics. We find, using a combination of UV-vis and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopies, that the sublimation process leads to the scission of the Mn–Cl bond. The resultant film is a Mn(II)TPP:Mn(III)TPPCl blend where approximately half the molecules have been reduced. Following growth, exposure to air oxidizes the Mn(II)TPP molecule. Through quantitative analysis of the time-dependent optical properties, the oxygen diffusion coefficient (D) ∼1.9×10−17cm2/s is obtained, corresponding to a slow bulk oxidation following fast oxidation of a 8-nm-thick surface layer. The bulk diffusion D is lower than for analogous polycrystalline films, suggestion that grain boundaries, rather than molecular packing, are the rate-limiting steps in oxidation of molecular films. Our results highlight that the stability of the axial ligands should be considered when depositing metal porphyrins from the vapor phase, and offer a solvent-free route to obtain reproducible and smooth thin films of complex materials for engineering film functionalities.
Ahmad EA, Chang H-Y, Al-Kindi M, et al., 2019, Corrosion protection through naturally occurring films: new insights from iron carbonate, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, Vol: 11, Pages: 33435-33441, ISSN: 1944-8244
Despite intensive study over many years, the chemistry and physics of the atomic level mechanisms that govern corrosion are not fully understood. In particular, the occurrence and severity of highly localized metal degradation cannot currently be predicted and often cannot be rationalized in failure analysis. We report a first-principles model of the nature of protective iron carbonate films coupled with a detailed chemical and physical characterization of such a film in a carefully controlled environment. The fundamental building blocks of the protective film, siderite (FeCO3) crystallites, are found to be very sensitive to the growth environment. In iron-rich conditions, cylindrical crystallites form that are highly likely to be more susceptible to chemical attack and dissolution than the rhombohedral crystallites formed in iron-poor conditions. This suggests that local degradation of metal surfaces is influenced by structures that form during early growth and provides new avenues for the prevention, detection, and mitigation of carbon steel corrosion.
Napier IA, Chang V, Noakes TCQ, et al., 2019, From electronic structure to design principles for photocathodes: Cu-Ba alloys, Physical Review Applied, Vol: 11, Pages: 064061-1-064061-13, ISSN: 2331-7019
Producing a metal photocathode with a low work function (WF), low emissivity, and high quantum efficiency is a matter of importance in the design of the next generation of free-electron laser facilities. General rules for the design of appropriate materials are currently unclear and difficult to elucidate from observations of structure-composition relationships of known photocathodes. In this work, high-quality density-functional-theory electronic structure calculations and a simple physical model are employed to develop design rules for photocathodes based on metallic alloys. A theoretical study of metal alloys for photocathode applications is presented, in which high WF, stable copper is paired with low WF, unstable barium in two alloys, Cu13Ba and CuBa. Surfaces terminating in a plane of Ba atoms have a lower computed surface energy than those terminating in Cu atoms due to surface segregation of the larger Ba atoms. This results in a significant surface dipole due to the interatomic charge transfer from the differences in electronegativity of the species. The details of the surface structure determine the direction of the dipole and thus have a strong influence on the computed WF. The computed WF of the Cu13Ba Ba-terminated (100) surface is even lower than that of pure Ba, at 1.95 eV. The computed quantum efficiency (QE) of the best-performing pure Cu surface is 5.86×10−6, whereas the best-performing Cu13Ba surface terminates in a plane of Ba atoms and has a significantly increased QE of 5.09×10−3. A surface terminating in two planes of Ba atoms, the (001) surface of CuBa, has an even higher computed QE of 1.38×10−2.
Ignatans R, Mallia G, Ahmad EA, et al., 2019, The effect of surface reconstruction on the oxygen reduction reaction properties of LaMnO3, The Journal of Physical Chemistry C: Energy Conversion and Storage, Optical and Electronic Devices, Interfaces, Nanomaterials, and Hard Matter, Vol: 123, Pages: 11621-11627, ISSN: 1932-7447
Perovskites have been widely studied for electrocatalysis due to the exceptional activity they exhibit for surface-mediated redox reactions. To date, descriptors based on density functional theory calculations or experimental measurements have assumed a bulk-like configuration for the surfaces of these oxides. Herein, we probed an initial exposed surface and the screened subsurface of LaMnO3 particles, demonstrating that their augmented activity toward the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) can be related to a spontaneous surface reconstruction. Our approach involves high energy resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy for the fine structure probing of oxygen and manganese ionization edges under electron beam conditions that leave the structure unaffected. Atomic multiplet and density functional theory calculations were used to compute the theoretical energy loss spectra for comparison to the experimental data, allowing to quantitatively demonstrate that the particle surface layers are La-deficient. This deficiency is linked to equivalent tetrahedral Mn2+ sites at the reconstructed surface, leading to the coexistence of +3 and +2 oxidation states of Mn at the surface layers. This electronic and structural configuration of the as-synthesized particles is indirectly linked to strong adsorption pathways that promote the ORR on LaMnO3, and thus, it could prove to be a valuable design feature in the engineering of catalytic surfaces.
Martinez-Casado R, Todorovi M, Mallia G, et al., 2019, First principles calculations on the stoichiometric and defective (101) anatase surface and upon hydrogen and H2Pc adsorption: The Influence of electronic exchange and correlation and of basis set approximations, Frontiers in Chemistry, Vol: 7, ISSN: 2296-2646
Anatase TiO2 provides photoactivity with high chemical stability at a reasonable cost. Different methods have been used to enhance its photocatalytic activity by creating band gap states through the introduction of oxygen vacancies, hydrogen impurities, or the adorption of phthalocyanines, which are usually employed as organic dyes in dye-sensitized solar cells. Predicting how these interactions affect the electronic structure of anatase requires an efficient and robust theory. In order to document the efficiency and accuracy of commonly used approaches we have considered two widely used implementations of density functional theory (DFT), namely the all-electron linear combination of atomic orbitals (AE–LCAO) and the pseudo-potential plane waves (PP–PW) approaches, to calculate the properties of the stoichiometric and defective anatase TiO2 (101) surface. Hybrid functionals, and in particular HSE, lead to a computed band gap in agreement with that measured by using UV adsorption spectroscopy. When using PBE+U, the gap is underestimated by 20 % but the computed position of defect induced gap states relative to the conduction band minimum (CBM) are found to be in good agreement with those calculated using hybrid functionals. These results allow us to conclude that hybrid functionals based on the use of AE–LCAO provide an efficient and robust approach for predicting trends in the band gap and the position of gap states in large model systems. We extend this analysis to surface adsorption and use the AE–LCAO approach with the hybrid functional HSED3 to study the adsorption of the phthalocyanine H2Pc on anatase (101). Our results suggest that H2Pc prefers to be adsorbed on the surface Ti5c rows of anatase (101), in agreement with that seen in recent STM experiments on rutile (110).
Hilderbrand M, Abualnaja F, Makwana Z, et al., 2019, Strain engineering of adsorbate self-assembly on graphene for band gap tuning, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Vol: 123, Pages: 4475-4482, ISSN: 1932-7447
Recent interest in functionalized graphene has been motivated by the prospect of creating a two-dimensional semiconductor with a tunable band gap. Various approaches to band gap engineering have been made over the last decade, one of which is chemical functionalization. In this work, a predictive physical model of the self-assembly of halogenated carbene layers on graphene is suggested. Self-assembly of the adsorbed layer is found to be governed by a combination of the curvature of the graphene sheet, local distortions, as introduced by molecular adsorption, and short-range intermolecular repulsion. The thermodynamics of bidental covalent molecular adsorption and the resultant electronic structure are computed using density functional theory. It is predicted that a direct band gap is opened that is tunable by varying coverages and is dependent on the ripple amplitude. This provides a mechanism for the controlled engineering of graphene’s electronic structure and thus its use in semiconductor technologies.
Rafols i Belles C, Selim S, Harrison NM, et al., 2019, Beyond band bending in the WO3/BiVO4 heterojunction: insight from DFT and experiment, Sustainable Energy and Fuels, Vol: 3, Pages: 264-271, ISSN: 2398-4902
Heterojunction photocatalysts can significantly enhance the efficiency of photocatalytic water splitting. It is well known that the key to such improvements lies at the interfacial region where charge separation occurs. Understanding the origins of this interfacial enhancement can enable the design of better performing water splitting devices. Therefore, in this work, a novel theoretical–experimental approach is developed for the study of photocatalytic heterojunctions using the model system – WO3/BiVO4, where it has been shown that the quantum efficiency of water splitting can approach unity at certain wavelengths. Our photoelectrochemical measurements of this heterojunction show a significantly enhanced performance over its separate components when illuminated through the BiVO4 side but not the WO3 side. This is indicative of more efficient electron transfer (i.e. from BiVO4 to WO3) than hole transfer (i.e. from WO3 to BiVO4) across the junction. Our classical band bending model of this junction predicts noticeable interfacial barriers, but could not explain the reduced performance under back illumination. Our atomistic model was used to investigate the effect of interfacial reconstructions and chemical interactions on the electronic structure of the system. The model reveals a non-staggered valence band, in contrast to the staggered conduction band, due to strong hybridization of valence band orbitals in both materials across the interface. This non-staggered valence band does not provide an energetic driving force for charge separation for hole transfer (i.e. from WO3 to BiVO4 under back illumination). Hence, a significant improvement in performance is only observed under front illumination. This combined approach, using both experiment and theory, results in a more complete understanding of a heterojunction photocatalyst system and provides unique insight into the interfacial effects that arise when two semiconductor materials are brought together
Martinez-Casado R, Mallia G, Harrison NM, et al., 2018, First-principles study of the water adsorption on Anatase(101) as a function of the coverage, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Vol: 122, Pages: 20736-20744, ISSN: 1932-7447
An understanding of the interaction of water with the anatase(101) surface is crucial for developing strategies to improve the efficiency of the photocatalytic reaction involved in solar water splitting. Despite a number of previous investigations, it is still not clear if water preferentially adsorbs in its molecular or dissociated form on anatase(101). With the aim of shedding some light on this controversial issue, we report the results of periodic screened-exchange density functional theory calculations of the dissociative, molecular, and mixed adsorption modes on the anatase(101) surface at various coverages. Our calculations support the suggestion that surface-adsorbed OH groups are present, which has been made on the basis of recently measured X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, temperature-programmed desorption, and scanning tunneling microscopy data. It is also shown that the relative stability of water adsorption on anatase(101), at different configurations, can be understood in terms of a simple model based on the number and nature of the hydrogen bonds formed as well as the adsorbate-induced atomic displacements in the surface layers. These general conclusions are found to be insensitive to the specific choice of approximation for electronic exchange and correlation within the density functional theory. The simple model of water–anatase interactions presented here may be of wider validity in determining the geometry of water–oxide interfaces.
Joshi GR, Cooper K, Zhong X, et al., 2018, Temporal evolution of sweet oilfield corrosion scale: Phases, morphologies, habits, and protection, Corrosion Science, Vol: 142, Pages: 110-118, ISSN: 0010-938X
Electrochemical measurements and substrate analysis have been employed to study the corrosion of iron in sweet solution (pH = 6.8, T = 80 °C) over a period of 288 h. Correlated with decreasing corrosion rate, diffraction, microscopy, and spectroscopy data reveal the evolution of adhered sweet corrosion scale. Initially, it is comprised of two phases, siderite and chukanovite, with the latter affording little substrate protection. Subsequently, as the scale becomes highly protective, siderite is the sole component. Notably, siderite crystals are concluded to display a somewhat unexpected habit, which may be a trigger for local breakdown of protective sweet scales.
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