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Showing papers in "Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics in 2017"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The importance of better reference values is demonstrated, and the need for London-dispersion corrections in density functional theory (DFT) treatments of thermochemical problems is re-emphasised, to inspire a change in the user community's perception of common DFT methods.
Abstract: We present the GMTKN55 benchmark database for general main group thermochemistry, kinetics and noncovalent interactions. Compared to its popular predecessor GMTKN30 [Goerigk and Grimme J. Chem. Theory Comput., 2011, 7, 291], it allows assessment across a larger variety of chemical problems—with 13 new benchmark sets being presented for the first time—and it also provides reference values of significantly higher quality for most sets. GMTKN55 comprises 1505 relative energies based on 2462 single-point calculations and it is accessible to the user community via a dedicated website. Herein, we demonstrate the importance of better reference values, and we re-emphasise the need for London-dispersion corrections in density functional theory (DFT) treatments of thermochemical problems, including Minnesota methods. We assessed 217 variations of dispersion-corrected and -uncorrected density functional approximations, and carried out a detailed analysis of 83 of them to identify robust and reliable approaches. Double-hybrid functionals are the most reliable approaches for thermochemistry and noncovalent interactions, and they should be used whenever technically feasible. These are, in particular, DSD-BLYP-D3(BJ), DSD-PBEP86-D3(BJ), and B2GPPLYP-D3(BJ). The best hybrids are ωB97X-V, M052X-D3(0), and ωB97X-D3, but we also recommend PW6B95-D3(BJ) as the best conventional global hybrid. At the meta-generalised-gradient (meta-GGA) level, the SCAN-D3(BJ) method can be recommended. Other meta-GGAs are outperformed by the GGA functionals revPBE-D3(BJ), B97-D3(BJ), and OLYP-D3(BJ). We note that many popular methods, such as B3LYP, are not part of our recommendations. In fact, with our results we hope to inspire a change in the user community's perception of common DFT methods. We also encourage method developers to use GMTKN55 for cross-validation studies of new methodologies.

1,079 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: An attractive feature of the IGM methodology is to provide a workflow that automatically generates data composed solely of intermolecular interactions for drawing the corresponding 3D isosurface representations.
Abstract: An electron density (ED)-based methodology is developed for the automatic identification of intermolecular interactions using pro-molecular density. The expression of the ED gradient in terms of atomic components furnishes the basis for the Independent Gradient Model (IGM). This model leads to a density reference for non interacting atoms/fragments where the atomic densities are added whilst their interaction turns off. Founded on this ED reference function that features an exponential decay also in interference regions, IGM model provides a way to identify and quantify the net ED gradient attenuation due to interactions. Using an intra/inter uncoupling scheme, a descriptor (δginter) is then derived that uniquely defines intermolecular interaction regions. An attractive feature of the IGM methodology is to provide a workflow that automatically generates data composed solely of intermolecular interactions for drawing the corresponding 3D isosurface representations.

898 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It was concluded that the material-sensor integration was also introduced to maintain the structural stability in the sensor fabrication process, ensuring the sensing stability of MOS-based gas sensors.
Abstract: Metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) based gas sensors have been considered a promising candidate for gas detection over the past few years. However, the sensing properties of MOS-based gas sensors also need to be further enhanced to satisfy the higher requirements for specific applications, such as medical diagnosis based on human breath, gas detection in harsh environments, etc. In these fields, excellent selectivity, low power consumption, a fast response/recovery rate, low humidity dependence and a low limit of detection concentration should be fulfilled simultaneously, which pose great challenges to the MOS-based gas sensors. Recently, in order to improve the sensing performances of MOS-based gas sensors, more and more researchers have carried out extensive research from theory to practice. For a similar purpose, on the basis of the whole fabrication process of gas sensors, this review gives a presentation of the important role of screening and the recent developments in high throughput screening. Subsequently, together with the sensing mechanism, the factors influencing the sensing properties of MOSs involved in material preparation processes were also discussed in detail. It was concluded that the sensing properties of MOSs not only depend on the morphological structure (particle size, morphology, pore size, etc.), but also rely on the defect structure and heterointerface structure (grain boundaries, heterointerfaces, defect concentrations, etc.). Therefore, the material-sensor integration was also introduced to maintain the structural stability in the sensor fabrication process, ensuring the sensing stability of MOS-based gas sensors. Finally, the perspectives of the MOS-based gas sensors in the aspects of fundamental research and the improvements in the sensing properties are pointed out.

363 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The current state of understanding of carbon nitride compounds is evaluated to highlight key issues in these areas and point out new directions in their development as advanced technological materials.
Abstract: Carbon nitride compounds with high N : C ratios and graphitic to polymeric structures are being investigated as potential next-generation materials for incorporation in devices for energy conversion and storage as well as for optoelectronic and catalysis applications. The materials are built from C- and N-containing heterocycles with heptazine or triazine rings linked via sp2-bonded N atoms (N(C)3 units) or –NH– groups. The electronic, chemical and optical functionalities are determined by the nature of the local to extended structures as well as the chemical composition of the materials. Because of their typically amorphous to nanocrystalline nature and variable composition, significant challenges remain to fully assess and calibrate the structure–functionality relationships among carbon nitride materials. It is also important to devise a useful and consistent approach to naming the different classes of carbon nitride compounds that accurately describes their chemical and structural characteristics related to their functional performance. Here we evaluate the current state of understanding to highlight key issues in these areas and point out new directions in their development as advanced technological materials.

353 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is found that the deviations of the positive potentials and the nonlinearities of the noncovalent interactions tend to be greatest for atoms of Groups V and VI, and arguments supporting the use of the 0.001 a.u. contour of the electronic density as the molecular surface on which to compute the electrostatic potential are presented.
Abstract: It follows from the Schrodinger equation that the forces operating within molecules and molecular complexes are Coulombic, which necessarily entails both electrostatics and polarization. A common and important class of molecular complexes is due to π-holes. These are molecular regions of low electronic density that are perpendicular to planar portions of the molecular frameworks. π-Holes often have positive electrostatic potentials associated with them, which result in mutually polarizing attractive forces with negative sites such as lone pairs, π electrons or anions. In many molecules, π-holes correspond to a flattening of the electronic density surface but in benzene derivatives and in polyazines the π-holes are craters above and below the rings. The interaction energies of π-hole complexes can be expressed quite well in terms of regression relationships that account for both the electrostatics and the polarization. There is a marked gradation in the interaction energies, from quite weak (about −2 kcal mol−1) to relatively strong (about −40 kcal mol−1). Gradations are also evident in the ratios of the intermolecular separations to the sums of the respective van der Waals radii and in the gradual transition of the π-hole atoms from trigonal to quasi-tetrahedral configurations. These trends are consistent with the concept that chemical interactions form a continuum, from very weak to very strong.

270 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is concluded that the greatest promise for high volume and high concentration processing lies in applying methods that have not yet been extensively reported, particularly wet comminution processing using small grinding media of various types.
Abstract: The preparation of dispersions of single- and few-sheet 2D materials in various solvents, as well as the characterization methods applied to such dispersions, is critically reviewed. Motivating factors for producing single- and few-sheet dispersions of 2D materials in liquids are briefly discussed. Many practical applications are expected for such materials that do not require high purity formulations and tight control of donor and acceptor concentrations, as required in conventional Fab processing of semiconductor chips. Approaches and challenges encountered in exfoliating 2D materials in liquids are reviewed. Ultrasonication, mechanical shearing, and electrochemical processing approaches are discussed, and their respective limitations and promising features are critiqued. Supercritical and more conventional liquid and solvent processing are then discussed in detail. The effects of various types of stabilizers, including surfactants and other amphiphiles, as well as polymers, including homopolymeric electrolytes, nonionic polymers, and nanolatexes, are discussed. Consideration of apparent successes of stabilizer-free dispersions indicates that extensive exfoliation in the absence of dispersing aids results from processing-induced surface modifications that promote stabilization of 2D material/solvent interactions. Also apparent paradoxes in “pristineness” and optical extinctions in dispersions suggest that there is much we do not yet quantitatively understand about the surface chemistry of these materials. Another paradox, emanating from modeling dilute solvent-only exfoliation by sonication using polar components of solubility parameters and surface tension for pristine graphene with no polar structural component, is addressed. This apparent paradox appears to be resolved by realizing that the reactivity of graphene to addition reactions of solvent radicals produced by sonolysis is accompanied by unintended polar surface modifications that promote attractive interactions with solvent. This hypothesis serves to define important theoretical and experimental studies that are needed. We conclude that the greatest promise for high volume and high concentration processing lies in applying methods that have not yet been extensively reported, particularly wet comminution processing using small grinding media of various types.

256 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Simulations show that the structure of the bulk hydrogen bond donor is largely preserved for hydroxyl based hydrogen bond donors (ChCl:Gly and ChCl:EG), resulting in a smaller melting point depression, while ChCl?:U exhibits a well-established hydrogen bond network between the salt and hydrogen Bond donor, leading to a larger melting point depressed.
Abstract: Deep eutectic solvents (DESs) are a mixture of a salt and a molecular hydrogen bond donor, which form a eutectic liquid with a depressed melting point. Quantum mechanical molecular dynamics (QM/MD) simulations have been used to probe the 1 : 2 choline chloride–urea (ChCl : U), choline chloride–ethylene glycol (ChCl : EG) and choline chloride–glycerol (ChCl : Gly) DESs. DES nanostructure and interactions between the ions is used to rationalise differences in DES eutectic point temperatures and viscosity. Simulations show that the structure of the bulk hydrogen bond donor is largely preserved for hydroxyl based hydrogen bond donors (ChCl:Gly and ChCl:EG), resulting in a smaller melting point depression. By contrast, ChCl:U exhibits a well-established hydrogen bond network between the salt and hydrogen bond donor, leading to a larger melting point depression. This extensive hydrogen bond network in ChCl:U also leads to substantially higher viscosity, compared to ChCl:EG and ChCl:Gly. Of the two hydroxyl based DESs, ChCl:Gly also exhibits a higher viscosity than ChCl:EG. This is attributed to the over-saturation of hydrogen bond donor groups in the ChCl:Gly bulk, which leads to more extensive hydrogen bond donor self-interaction and hence higher cohesive forces within the bulk liquid.

230 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The currently most commonly used processes for fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass into its constituents, cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose, are summarized and the fractionation with innovative solvents are reviewed.
Abstract: Lignocellulosic biomass has gained extensive research interest due to its potential as a renewable resource, which has the ability to overtake oil-based resources. However, this is only possible if the fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass into its constituents, cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose, can be conducted more efficiently than is possible with the current processes. This article summarizes the currently most commonly used processes and reviews the fractionation with innovative solvents, such as ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents. In addition, future challenges for the use of these innovative solvents will be addressed.

212 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is found that increasing the yield strength of the polymer electrolyte plays a significant role in preventing dendrite growth in lithium metal anodes, providing a new avenue for further exploration.
Abstract: Future lithium-ion batteries must use lithium metal anodes to fulfill the demands of high energy density applications with the potential to enable affordable electric cars with 350-mile range. However, dendrite growth during charging prevents the commercialization of this technology. It has been demonstrated that the presence of a compressive mechanical stress field around a dendritic protrusion prevents growth. Several techniques based on this concept, such as protective layers, externally applied pressure and solid electrolytes have been investigated by other researchers. Because of the low coulombic efficiencies associated with the stiff protective layers and high-pressure conditions, implementation of these techniques in commercial cells is complicated. Polymer-based solid electrolytes demonstrate better efficiency and capacity retention capabilities. However, dendrite growth is still possible in polymer electrolytes at higher current densities. The simulations described in this article provide guidance on the conditions under which dendrite growth is possible in polymer cells and targets for material properties needed for dendrite prevention. Increasing the elastic modulus of the electrolyte prevents the growth of dendritic protrusions in two ways: (i) higher compressive mechanical stress leads to reduced exchange current density at the protrusion peak compared to the valley, and (ii) plastic deformation of lithium metal results in reduction of the height of the dendritic protrusion. A phase map is constructed, showing the range of operation (applied current) and design (electrolyte elastic modulus) parameters that corresponds to stable lithium deposition. It is found that increasing the yield strength of the polymer electrolyte plays a significant role in preventing dendrite growth in lithium metal anodes, providing a new avenue for further exploration.

212 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A straightforward coupled ionic-electronic model is presented that can be used to explain the large amplitude transient behaviour and the impedance response of perovskite solar cells.
Abstract: Perovskite solar cells (PSC) are shown to behave as coupled ionic–electronic conductors with strong evidence that the ionic environment moderates both the rate of electron–hole recombination and the band offsets in planar PSC. Numerous models have been presented to explain the behaviour of perovskite solar cells, but to date no single model has emerged that can explain both the frequency and time dependent response of the devices. Here we present a straightforward coupled ionic–electronic model that can be used to explain the large amplitude transient behaviour and the impedance response of PSC.

183 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Non-aqueous potassium-ion batteries (KIBs) are emerging as a promising energy storage system due to the abundance of potassium and the encouraging battery performance.
Abstract: Large-scale energy storage technologies are in high demand for effective utilization of intermittent electricity generations and efficient electric power transmission. The feasibility of lithium-ion batteries for large-scale energy storage is under debate due to the scarcity and uneven distribution of lithium resources in the Earth's crust. Therefore, there arises tremendous interest in pursuing alternative energy storage systems based on earth-abundant materials. Recently, non-aqueous potassium-ion batteries (KIBs) are emerging as a promising energy storage system due to the abundance of potassium and the encouraging battery performance. Here, the recent research progress in non-aqueous KIBs is summarized, including electrode materials, electrolytes, battery architectures and fundamental electrochemical processes. The challenges and future research opportunities are also briefly discussed.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The results showed that the semiconducting nature of BlueP and the Dirac cone of G are well preserved in the BlueP/G vdW heterostructure, and it was discovered that both G and g-GaN can be used as an active layer for BlueP to facilitate charge injection and enhance the device performance.
Abstract: Blue phosphorene (BlueP) is a graphene-like phosphorus nanosheet which was synthesized very recently for the first time [Nano Lett., 2016, 16, 4903-4908]. The combination of electronic properties of two different two-dimensional materials in an ultrathin van der Waals (vdW) vertical heterostructure has been proved to be an effective approach to the design of novel electronic and optoelectronic devices. Therefore, we used density functional theory to investigate the structural and electronic properties of two BlueP-based heterostructures - BlueP/graphene (BlueP/G) and BlueP/graphene-like gallium nitride (BlueP/g-GaN). Our results showed that the semiconducting nature of BlueP and the Dirac cone of G are well preserved in the BlueP/G vdW heterostructure. Moreover, by applying a perpendicular electric field, it is possible to tune the position of the Dirac cone of G with respect to the band edge of BlueP, resulting in the ability to control the Schottky barrier height. For the BlueP/g-GaN vdW heterostructure, BlueP forms an interface with g-GaN with a type-II band alignment, which is a promising feature for unipolar electronic device applications. Furthermore, we discovered that both G and g-GaN can be used as an active layer for BlueP to facilitate charge injection and enhance the device performance.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The terms tetrel bond, pnictogen bond and chalcogen bond were coined recently to describe non-covalent interactions involving group 14, 15 and 16 atoms, respectively, acting as the electrophilic site that seeks a nucleophilic region of another molecule, for example a non-bonding electron pair or π-electron pair of a Lewis base.
Abstract: The terms tetrel bond, pnictogen bond and chalcogen bond were coined recently to describe non-covalent interactions involving group 14, 15 and 16 atoms, respectively, acting as the electrophilic site that seeks a nucleophilic region of another molecule, for example a non-bonding electron pair or π-electron pair of a Lewis base Many complexes containing these non-covalent bonds were identified and characterised in isolation in the gas phase by rotational and vibrational spectroscopy long before they were given these names In this article, the geometries so determined for selected examples of complexes of each type are rationalised in terms of the molecular electrostatic surface potentials of the component molecules Examples of chalcogen-bonded complexes considered are based mainly on sulfur dioxide, with the region near the sulfur atom as the electrophilic site that interacts with n-electron and π-electron pairs for a range of simple Lewis base molecules For tetrel bonds, the examples discussed involve the carbon atom of carbon dioxide as the electrophilic centre, while for pnictogen bonds the central nitrogen of the closely related molecule nitrous oxide is chosen Geometrical similarities within each series allow simple definitions of each type of non-covalent bond that are conformal with that recently advanced for the halogen bond, a related non-covalent interaction

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A comprehensive guide to nano-impact experiments is presented, in which newcomers to this rapidly-developing field of research are introduced and common-encountered issues are considered and presented alongside methods for their solutions.
Abstract: We present a comprehensive guide to nano-impact experiments, in which we introduce newcomers to this rapidly-developing field of research. Central questions are answered regarding required experimental set-ups, categories of materials that can be detected, and the theoretical frameworks enabling the analysis of experimental data. Commonly-encountered issues are considered and presented alongside methods for their solutions.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The electronic properties of MoO3 and reduced molybdenum oxide phases are studied by density functional theory (DFT) alongside characterization of mixed phase MoOx films and it is found that whilst MoO2 is easily distinguished fromMoO3, intermediate phases and phase mixtures have similar electronic structures.
Abstract: The electronic properties of MoO3 and reduced molybdenum oxide phases are studied by density functional theory (DFT) alongside characterization of mixed phase MoOx films. Molybdenum oxide is utilized in compositions ranging from MoO3 to MoO2 with several intermediary phases. With increasing degree of reduction, the lattice collapses and the layered MoO3 structure is lost. This affects the electronic and optical properties, which range from the wide band gap semiconductor MoO3 to metallic MoO2. DFT is used to determine the stability of the most relevant molybdenum oxide phases, in comparison to oxygen vacancies in the layered MoO3 lattice. The non-layered phases are more stable than the layered MoO3 structure for all oxygen stoichiometries of MoOx studied where 2 ≤ x < 3. Reduction and lattice collapse leads to strong changes in the electronic density of states, especially the filling of the Mo 4d states. The DFT predictions are compared to experimental studies of molybdenum oxide films within the same range of oxygen stoichiometries. We find that whilst MoO2 is easily distinguished from MoO3, intermediate phases and phase mixtures have similar electronic structures. The effect of the different band structures is seen in the electrical conductivity and optical transmittance of the films. Insight into the oxide phase stability ranges and mixtures is not only important for understanding molybdenum oxide films for optoelectronic applications, but is also relevant to other transition metal oxides, such as WO3, which exist in analogous forms.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Due to their ultra low lattice thermal conductivities coupled with high carrier mobilities, monolayer SnX2 materials may be promising materials for thermoelectric applications.
Abstract: Using density functional theory, we systematically investigate the lattice thermal conductivity and carrier mobility of monolayer SnX2 (X = S, Se). The room-temperature ultra low lattice thermal conductivities found in monolayer SnS2 (6.41 W m-1 K-1) and SnSe2 (3.82 W m-1 K-1) are attributed to the low phonon velocity, low Debye temperature, weak bonding interactions, and strong anharmonicity in monolayer SnX2. The predicted values of lattice thermal conductivity are lower than those of other two-dimensional materials such as stanene, phosphorene, monolayer MoS2, and bulk SnX2. High phonon-limited carrier mobilities are obtained for the monolayer SnX2. For example, the electron mobility of monolayer SnS2 is 756.60 cm2 V-1 s-1 and the hole mobility is 187.44 cm2 V-1 s-1. The electron mobility of these monolayers is higher than their hole mobility due to the low effective mass of electrons and low deformation constants, which makes them n-type materials. Due to their ultra low lattice thermal conductivities coupled with high carrier mobilities, monolayer SnX2 materials may be promising materials for thermoelectric applications.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: First-principles lattice-dynamics calculations are used to model and compare the vibrational spectra and thermal transport of four bulk tin-sulphide materials.
Abstract: We present an in-depth first-principles study of the lattice dynamics of the tin sulphides SnS2, Pnma and π-cubic SnS and Sn2S3. An analysis of the harmonic phonon dispersion and vibrational density of states reveals phonon bandgaps between low- and high-frequency modes consisting of Sn and S motion, respectively, and evidences a bond-strength hierarchy in the low-dimensional SnS2, Pnma SnS and Sn2S3 crystals. We model and perform a complete characterisation of the infrared and Raman spectra, including temperature-dependent anharmonic linewidths calculated using many-body perturbation theory. We illustrate how vibrational spectroscopy could be used to identify and characterise phase impurities in tin sulphide samples. The spectral linewidths are used to model the thermal transport, and the calculations indicate that the low-dimensional Sn2S3 has a very low lattice thermal conductivity, potentially giving it superior performance to SnS as a candidate thermoelectric material.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: With this approach, a differentiation between "simple" irreversible capacities and truly detrimental "active Li losses" is possible and, thus, Coulombic efficiency can be directly related to the remaining useable cell capacity for the first time.
Abstract: Active lithium loss (ALL) resulting in a capacity loss (QALL), which is caused by lithium consuming parasitic reactions like SEI formation, is a major reason for capacity fading and, thus, for a reduction of the usable energy density of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). QALL is often equated with the accumulated irreversible capacity (QAIC). However, QAIC is also influenced by non-lithium consuming parasitic reactions, which do not reduce the active lithium content of the cell, but induce a parasitic current. In this work, a novel approach is proposed in order to differentiate between QAIC and QALL. The determination of QALL is based on the remaining active lithium content of a given cell, which can be determined by de-lithiation of the cathode with the help of the reference electrode of a three-electrode set-up. Lithium non-consuming parasitic reactions, which do not influence the active lithium content have no influence on this determination. In order to evaluate this novel approach, three different anode materials (graphite, carbon spheres and a silicon/graphite composite) were investigated. It is shown that during the first charge/discharge cycles QALL is described moderately well by QAIC. However, the difference between QAIC and QALL rises with increasing cycle number. With this approach, a differentiation between “simple” irreversible capacities and truly detrimental “active Li losses” is possible and, thus, Coulombic efficiency can be directly related to the remaining useable cell capacity for the first time. Overall, the exact determination of the remaining active lithium content of the cell is of great importance, because it allows a statement on whether the reduction in lithium content is crucial for capacity fading or whether the fading is related to other degradation mechanisms such as material or electrode failure.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The most important mechanisms of dissolution in terms of intermolecular interactions, including hydrogen bonding versus hydrophobic interactions, the role of ionization as well as some applications of new knowledge gained are highlighted.
Abstract: Cellulose is the most abundant polymer and a very important renewable resource Since cellulose cannot be shaped by melting, a major route for its use for novel materials, new chemical compounds and renewable energy must go via the solution state Investigations during several decades have led to the identification of several solvents of notably different character The mechanisms of dissolution in terms of intermolecular interactions have been discussed from early work but, even on fundamental aspects, conflicting and opposite views appear In view of this, strategies for developing new solvent systems for various applications have remained obscure There is for example a strong need for using forest products for higher value materials and for environmental and cost reasons to use water-based solvents Several new water-based solvents have been developed recently but there is no consensus regarding the underlying mechanisms Here we wish to address the most important mechanisms described in the literature and confront them with experimental observations A broadened view is helpful for improving the current picture and thus cellulose derivatives and phenomena such as fiber dissolution, swelling, regeneration, plasticization and dispersion are considered In addition to the matter of hydrogen bonding versus hydrophobic interactions, the role of ionization as well as some applications of new knowledge gained are highlighted

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is found that SCI have only a negligible impact on the global gas phase H2SO4 formation or removal of oxygenates, though some contribution around the equatorial belt, and in select regions, cannot be excluded.
Abstract: Stabilized Criegee intermediates (SCI) are reactive oxygenated species formed in the ozonolysis of hydrocarbons. Their chemistry could influence the oxidative capacity of the atmosphere by affecting the HOx and NOx cycles, or by the formation of low-volatility oxygenates enhancing atmospheric aerosols known to have an important impact on climate. The concentration of SCI in the atmosphere has hitherto not been determined reliably, and very little is known about their speciation. Here we show that the concentration of biogenic SCI is strongly limited by their unimolecular decay, based on extensive theory-based structure–activity relationships (SARs) for the reaction rates for decomposition. Reaction with water vapor, H2O and (H2O)2 molecules, is the second most important loss process; SARs are also proposed for these reactions. For SCI derived from the most common biogenic VOCs, we find that unimolecular decay is responsible for just over half of the loss, with reaction with water vapor the main remaining loss process. Reactions with SO2, NO2, or acids have negligible impact on the atmospheric SCI concentration. The ambient SCI concentrations are further characterized by analysis of field data with speciated hydrocarbon information, and by implementation of the chemistry in a global chemistry model. The results show a highly complex SCI speciation, with an atmospheric peak SCI concentrations below 1 × 105 molecule cm−3, and annual average SCI concentrations less than 7 × 103 molecule cm−3. We find that SCI have only a negligible impact on the global gas phase H2SO4 formation or removal of oxygenates, though some contribution around the equatorial belt, and in select regions, cannot be excluded.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Grain boundaries with respect to non-GB regions in high-quality micrometer-sized perovskite MAPbI3 thin films are examined using high-resolution confocal fluorescence-lifetime imaging microscopy in conjunction with kinetic modeling of charge-transport and recombination processes to show that GBs in these films do not lead to increased recombination.
Abstract: Here, we examine grain boundaries (GBs) with respect to non-GB regions (grain surfaces (GSs) and grain interiors (GIs)) in high-quality micrometer-sized perovskite CH3NH3PbI3 (or MAPbI3) thin films using high-resolution confocal fluorescence-lifetime imaging microscopy in conjunction with kinetic modeling of charge-transport and recombination processes. We show that, contrary to previous studies, GBs in our perovskite MAPbI3 thin films do not lead to increased recombination but that recombination in these films happens primarily in the non-GB regions (i.e., GSs or GIs). We also find that GBs in these films are not transparent to photogenerated carriers, which is likely associated with a potential barrier at GBs. Even though GBs generally display lower luminescence intensities than GSs/GIs, the lifetimes at GBs are no worse than those at GSs/GIs, further suggesting that GBs do not dominate non-radiative recombination in MAPbI3 thin films.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This study brings out the role of Cs+ to be of paramount significance to further engineer the composition and improve device performances.
Abstract: Towards increasing the stability of perovskite solar cells, the addition of Cs+ is found to be a rational approach. Recently triple cation based perovskite solar cells were found to be more effective in terms of stability and efficiency. Heretofore they were unexplored, so we probed the Cs/MA/FA (cesium/methyl ammonium/formamidinium) cation based perovskites by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and correlated their compositional features with their solar cell performances. The Cs+ content was found to be optimum at 5%, when incorporated in the (MA0.15FA0.85)Pb(I0.85Br0.15)3 lattice, because the corresponding device yielded the highest fill factor compared to the perovskite without Cs+ and with 10% Cs+. XPS studies distinctly reveal how Cs+ aids in maintaining the expected stoichiometric ratios of I : Pb2+, I : N and Br : Pb2+ in the perovskites, and how the valence band (VB) edge is dependent on the Cs+ proportion, which in turn governs the open circuit voltage. Even at a low content of 5%, Cs+ resides deep within the absorber layer, and ensures minimum distortion of the VB level (compared to 0% and 10% Cs+ perovskites) upon Ar+ sputtering, thus allowing the formation of a stable robust material that delivers excellent solar cell response. This study which brings out the role of Cs+ is anticipated to be of paramount significance to further engineer the composition and improve device performances.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Testing the limits of the ionic theory of hysteresis by attempting to account for a number of exotic characterization results using a detailed numerical device model that incorporates ionic charge accumulation at the perovskite interfaces finds that both interfacial recombination and carrier injection from the selective contacts are heavily affected by ionic accumulation.
Abstract: The issue of hysteresis in perovskite solar cells has now been convincingly linked to the presence of mobile ions within the perovskite layer. Here we test the limits of the ionic theory by attempting to account for a number of exotic characterization results using a detailed numerical device model that incorporates ionic charge accumulation at the perovskite interfaces. Our experimental observations include a temporary enhancement in open-circuit voltage following prolonged periods of negative bias, dramatically S-shaped current–voltage sweeps, decreased current extraction following positive biasing or “inverted hysteresis”, and non-monotonic transient behaviours in the dark and the light. Each one of these phenomena can be reproduced and ultimately explained by our models, providing further evidence for the ionic theory of hysteresis as well as valuable physical insight into the factors that coincide to bring these phenomena about. In particular we find that both interfacial recombination and carrier injection from the selective contacts are heavily affected by ionic accumulation, and are essential to explaining the non-monotonic voltage transients and S-shaped J–V curves. Inverted hysteresis is attributed to the occurrence of “positive” ionic accumulation, which may also be responsible for enhancing the stabilized open-circuit voltage in some perovskite cells.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This work addresses the types of errors that might arise in atomistic machine learning, the unique aspects of atomistic simulations that make machine-learning challenging, and highlights how uncertainty analysis can be used to assess the validity of machine- learning predictions.
Abstract: Machine-learning regression has been demonstrated to precisely emulate the potential energy and forces that are output from more expensive electronic-structure calculations. However, to predict new regions of the potential energy surface, an assessment must be made of the credibility of the predictions. In this perspective, we address the types of errors that might arise in atomistic machine learning, the unique aspects of atomistic simulations that make machine-learning challenging, and highlight how uncertainty analysis can be used to assess the validity of machine-learning predictions. We suggest this will allow researchers to more fully use machine learning for the routine acceleration of large, high-accuracy, or extended-time simulations. In our demonstrations, we use a bootstrap ensemble of neural network-based calculators, and show that the width of the ensemble can provide an estimate of the uncertainty when the width is comparable to that in the training data. Intriguingly, we also show that the uncertainty can be localized to specific atoms in the simulation, which may offer hints for the generation of training data to strategically improve the machine-learned representation.

Journal ArticleDOI
Kyoungmin Min1, Seung-Woo Seo1, You Young Song1, Hyo Sug Lee1, Eunseog Cho1 
TL;DR: It is found that Al doping can suppress the formation of oxygen vacancies effectively, while Mg doping prevents the cation disordering behaviors, i.e., excess Ni and Li/Ni exchange, and Ni migration, in the Mg-doped structure.
Abstract: First-principles calculations have been used to investigate the effects of Al and Mg doping on the prevention of degradation phenomena in Li(Ni0.8Co0.1Mn0.1)O2 cathode materials. Specifically, we have examined the effects of dopants on the suppression of oxygen evolution and cation disordering, as well as their correlation. It is found that Al doping can suppress the formation of oxygen vacancies effectively, while Mg doping prevents the cation disordering behaviors, i.e., excess Ni and Li/Ni exchange, and Ni migration. This study also demonstrates that formation of oxygen vacancies can facilitate the construction of the cation disordering, and vice versa. Delithiation can increase the probabilities of formation of all defect types, especially oxygen vacancies. When oxygen vacancies are present, Ni can migrate to the Li site during delithiation. However, Al and Mg doping can inhibit Ni migration, even in structures with preformed oxygen defects. The analysis of atomic charge variations during delithiation demonstrates that the degree of oxidation behavior in oxygen atoms is alleviated in the case of Al doping, indicating the enhanced oxygen stability in this structure. In addition, changes in the lattice parameters during delithiation are suppressed in the Mg-doped structure, which suggests that Mg doping may improve the lattice stability.

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TL;DR: The obtained phosphorus-doped graphene quantum dots exhibit excellent scavenging activity of free radicals, such as hydroxyl radicals (˙OH) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH).
Abstract: In this work, phosphorus-doped graphene quantum dots (P-GQDs) with a high phosphorus doping content (>7 at%) are synthesized via an electrochemical approach. Sodium phytate (C6H6Na12O24P6), a green food antioxidant additive, is used as the electrolyte for providing both a phosphorus source and an electrolysis environment. The obtained P-GQDs exhibit excellent scavenging activity of free radicals, such as hydroxyl radicals (˙OH) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH). Combined with Raman, FT-IR, and XPS spectral analyses, the reason for high phosphorus content and the mechanism of free radical scavenging of P-GQDs are investigated in our work.

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TL;DR: Spectroscopic evidence demonstrate that the Li+ and Na+ cations share a number of similar ion-solvent interaction trends, such as a preference in the gas and liquid phase for a solvation shell rich in cyclic carbonates over linear carbonates and fluorinated carbonates.
Abstract: Sodium ion batteries are on the cusp of being a commercially available technology. Compared to lithium ion batteries, sodium ion batteries can potentially offer an attractive dollar-per-kilowatt-hour value, though at the penalty of reduced energy density. As a materials system, sodium ion batteries present a unique opportunity to apply lessons learned in the study of electrolytes for lithium ion batteries; specifically, the behavior of the sodium ion in an organic carbonate solution and the relationship of ion solvation with electrode surface passivation. In this work the Li+ and Na+-based solvates were characterized using electrospray mass spectrometry, infrared and Raman spectroscopy, 17O, 23Na and pulse field gradient double-stimulated-echo pulse sequence nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and conductivity measurements. Spectroscopic evidence demonstrate that the Li+ and Na+ cations share a number of similar ion–solvent interaction trends, such as a preference in the gas and liquid phase for a solvation shell rich in cyclic carbonates over linear carbonates and fluorinated carbonates. However, quite different IR spectra due to the PF6− anion interactions with the Na+ and Li+ cations were observed and were rationalized with the help of density functional theory (DFT) calculations that were also used to examine the relative free energies of solvates using cluster – continuum models. Ion–solvent distances for Na+ were longer than Li+, and Na+ had a greater tendency towards forming contact pairs compared to Li+ in linear carbonate solvents. In tests of hard carbon Na-ion batteries, performance was not well correlated to Na+ solvent preference, leading to the possibility that Na+ solvent preference may play a reduced role in the passivation of anode surfaces and overall Na-ion battery performance.

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TL;DR: This work demonstrates that incorporating carbon globules containing nanoscale magnetic and conducting particles in a polymer matrix, provides an effective way to enhance EMI shielding via absorption of the EM wave in a lightweight thin composite coating.
Abstract: Homogenously dispersed nanoparticles having a magnetic core and graphitic-carbon shells in amorphous carbon globules are prepared using a low-cost pyrolysis technique. Synergetic microwave absorption in carbon globules embedded with nanoscale iron/iron-carbide graphite (FeC) particles via dielectric, magnetic and Ohmic losses is emphasized in this work. The electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding properties of the FeC nanoparticles dispersed in polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) are studied in the 8–18 GHz frequency range and compared with those of PVDF composites containing similar weight fractions of conducting/magnetic phase micro-particles such as carbonyl iron (CI) or electrolytic iron (EI) or a similar amount of amorphous carbon phase such as amorphous carbon (a-C) globules. The PVDF/FeC composite shows a maximum SET value of −23.9 dB at 18 GHz, as compared to the SET for the other composites. The enhanced EMI shielding in the PVDF/FeC composite is attributed to the increased interfaces of the nanoscale particles, which facilitate enhanced Maxwell–Wagner interfacial polarization. The homogenous dispersion of iron and iron-carbide phases in the carbon matrix of the FeC sample enhances the interfacial polarization and multiple internal scattering of the penetrated EM waves, which get synergistically attenuated by the Ohmic, magnetic and dielectric losses. Based on complex permittivity and permeability results we have calculated the Reflection Loss (RL) of the PVDF/FeC composite. The PVDF–FeC composite shows a RL peak of −40.5 dB for a 4.3 mm thick specimen positioned at 5 GHz frequency. The RL peak is explained using the quarter-wave cancellation model. Our work demonstrates that incorporating carbon globules containing nanoscale magnetic and conducting particles in a polymer matrix, provides an effective way to enhance EMI shielding via absorption of the EM wave in a lightweight thin composite coating.

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Xi Yuan1, Xuemin Hou1, Ji Li1, Chao-qun Qu1, Wenjin Zhang, Jialong Zhao1, Haibo Li1 
TL;DR: The transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and PL spectroscopy demonstrated that the size of NCs almost kept constant at thermal annealing temperatures below 360 K while it significantly enlarged at higher thermal temperatures above 380 K.
Abstract: The luminescence properties of inorganic perovskite CsPbBr3 nanocrystals (NCs) with emissions of 492 and 517 nm under thermal annealing treatment were studied by temperature-dependent photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy. The CsPbBr3 NCs were annealed in vacuum at various temperatures. It was found that the NCs exhibited significant thermal degradation of PL at thermal annealing temperatures above 320 K. The transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and PL spectroscopy demonstrated that the size of NCs almost kept constant at thermal annealing temperatures below 360 K while it significantly enlarged at higher thermal temperatures above 380 K. The PL intensities, peak energies and linewidths of the annealed NCs, as a function of temperature, are discussed in detail. The PL degradation of the NCs was related to the formation of nonradiative recombination centers due to the loss of ligands and growth of NCs under thermal annealing.

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TL;DR: The BRT model was more precise compared to the other models and this showed that BRT could be a powerful tool for the modeling and optimizing of removal of MB and Cd(ii).
Abstract: Analytical chemists apply statistical methods for both the validation and prediction of proposed models. Methods are required that are adequate for finding the typical features of a dataset, such as nonlinearities and interactions. Boosted regression trees (BRTs), as an ensemble technique, are fundamentally different to other conventional techniques, with the aim to fit a single parsimonious model. In this work, BRT, artificial neural network (ANN) and response surface methodology (RSM) models have been used for the optimization and/or modeling of the stirring time (min), pH, adsorbent mass (mg) and concentrations of MB and Cd2+ ions (mg L-1) in order to develop respective predictive equations for simulation of the efficiency of MB and Cd2+ adsorption based on the experimental data set. Activated carbon, as an adsorbent, was synthesized from walnut wood waste which is abundant, non-toxic, cheap and locally available. This adsorbent was characterized using different techniques such as FT-IR, BET, SEM, point of zero charge (pHpzc) and also the determination of oxygen containing functional groups. The influence of various parameters (i.e. pH, stirring time, adsorbent mass and concentrations of MB and Cd2+ ions) on the percentage removal was calculated by investigation of sensitive function, variable importance rankings (BRT) and analysis of variance (RSM). Furthermore, a central composite design (CCD) combined with a desirability function approach (DFA) as a global optimization technique was used for the simultaneous optimization of the effective parameters. The applicability of the BRT, ANN and RSM models for the description of experimental data was examined using four statistical criteria (absolute average deviation (AAD), mean absolute error (MAE), root mean square error (RMSE) and coefficient of determination (R2)). All three models demonstrated good predictions in this study. The BRT model was more precise compared to the other models and this showed that BRT could be a powerful tool for the modeling and optimizing of removal of MB and Cd(ii). Sensitivity analysis (calculated from the weight of neurons in ANN) confirmed that the adsorbent mass and pH were the essential factors affecting the removal of MB and Cd(ii), with relative importances of 28.82% and 38.34%, respectively. A good agreement (R2 > 0.960) between the predicted and experimental values was obtained. Maximum removal (R% > 99) was achieved at an initial dye concentration of 15 mg L-1, a Cd2+ concentration of 20 mg L-1, a pH of 5.2, an adsorbent mass of 0.55 g and a time of 35 min.