We introduce a simple local atomic structure optimization algorithm which is significantly faster than standard implementations of the conjugate gradient method and often competitive with more sophisticated quasi-Newton schemes typically used in ab initio calculations. It is based on conventional molecular dynamics with additional velocity modifications and adaptive time steps. The surprising efficiency and especially the robustness and versatility of the method is illustrated using a variety of test cases from nanoscience, solid state physics, materials research, and biochemistry.
Planar reconstruction patterns at the zigzag and armchair edges of graphene were investigated with density functional theory. It was unexpectedly found that the zigzag edge is metastable and a planar reconstruction spontaneously takes place at room temperature. The reconstruction changes electronic structure and self-passivates the edge with respect to adsorption of atomic hydrogen from molecular atmosphere. , fully attempts to use its flexible chemistry. In applications for nanoscale materials and devices, it is often the atomic and electronic structure of boundaries and surfaces that is responsible for mechanical, electronic and chemical properties.Since the properties of nanomaterial depend on the precise atomic geometry, its knowledge is crucial for focused preparation of experiments and for worthy theoretical modeling. Only this enables the further development of nanoelectronic components, nanoelectromechanical devices and hydrogen storage materials [3,6], or the usage of carbon in compound designs .
The edges of nanoscopic objects determine most of their properties. For this reason the edges of honeycomb carbon-always considered either zigzag-or armchair-like-need special attention. In this report we provide experimental evidence confirming a previous unexpected prediction: zigzag is a metastable edge, as its planar reconstruction lowers energy and forms the most stable graphene edge. Our evidence is based on re-analyzing a recent experiment. Since the reconstructed edge, along with other unconventional edges we discuss, has distinct chemical properties, this discovery urges for care in experiments and theory-we must enter the realm beyond zigzag and armchair.
Ground-state structures and other experimentally relevant isomers of Au(15) (-) to Au(24) (-) clusters are determined through joint first-principles density functional theory and photoelectron spectroscopy measurements. Subsequent calculations of molecular O(2) adsorption to the optimal cluster structures reveal a size-dependent reactivity pattern that agrees well with earlier experiments. A detailed analysis of the underlying electronic structure shows that the chemical reactivity of the gold cluster anions can be elucidated in terms of a partial-jellium picture, where delocalized electrons occupying electronic shells move over the ionic skeleton, whose geometric structure is strongly influenced by the directional bonding associated with the highly localized "d-band" electrons.
Theoretical approaches to one-dimensional and quasi-one-dimensional quantum rings with a few electrons are reviewed. Discrete Hubbard-type models and continuum models are shown to give similar results governed by the special features of the one-dimensionality. The energy spectrum of the many-body states can be described by a rotation-vibration spectrum of a 'Wigner molecule' of 'localized' electrons, combined with the spin-state determined from an effective antiferromagnetic Heisenberg Hamiltonian. The persistent current as a function of the magnetic flux through the ring shows periodic oscillations arising from the 'rigid rotation' of the electron ring. For polarized electrons the periodicity of the oscillations is always the flux quantum Φ0. For nonpolarized electrons the periodicity depends on the strength of the effective Heisenberg coupling and changes from Φ0 first to Φ0/2 and eventually to Φ0/N when the ring gets narrower.
Grain boundaries are topological defects that often have a disordered character. Disorder implies that understanding general trends is more important than accurate investigations of individual grain boundaries. Here we present trends in the grain boundaries of graphene. We use density-functional tight-binding method to calculate trends in energy, atomic structure (polygon composition), chemical reactivity (dangling bond density), corrugation heights (inflection angles), and dynamical properties (vibrations), as a function of lattice orientation mismatch. The observed trends and their mutual interrelations are plausibly explained by structure, and supported by past experiments.
Common two-dimensional (2D) materials have a layered 3D structure with covalently bonded, atomically thin layers held together by weak van der Waals forces. However, in a recent transmission electron microscopy experiment, atomically thin 2D patches of iron were discovered inside a graphene nanopore. Motivated by this discovery, we perform a systematic density-functional study on atomically thin elemental 2D metal films, using 45 metals in three lattice structures. Cohesive energies, equilibrium distances, and bulk moduli in 2D are found to be linearly correlated to the corresponding 3D bulk properties, enabling the quick estimation of these values for a given 2D metal and lattice structure. In-plane elastic constants show that most 2D metals are stable in hexagonal and honeycomb, but unstable in square 2D structures. Many 2D metals are surprisingly stable against bending.
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