*Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 2020 Jul 14.*

##### RESUMO

The exact energy functional of density functional theory (DFT) is well known to obey various constraints. Three conditions that must be obeyed by the exact energy functional, but may or may not be obeyed by approximate ones, are often pointed out as important in general and for accurate computation of spectroscopic observables in particular. These are: (1) piecewise linearity as a function of the fractional particle number, (2) freedom from one-electron self-interaction, and (3) for a finite system, the functional derivative with respect to the density results in an asymptotic -1/r potential (in Hartree atomic units), where r is the distance from the system center. In this overview, we explain what these conditions are, what they address, and why each one is of importance for spectroscopy. We then show, using specific examples from the literature, that these three properties are related, but are not equivalent and need to be assessed individually.

*J Chem Theory Comput ; 16(7): 4327-4336, 2020 Jul 14.*

##### RESUMO

We provide a new scheme for representing pseudopotentials on a finite real-space grid, designed to significantly reduce the "egg box" (also known as the "egg carton") effect, i.e., unphysical fluctuations of computed quantities upon real-space translation. Instead of interpolating the electron-ion potential onto the grid, our scheme starts at a reference position and then uses a weighted sum of translation operators to account for the positions of atoms in real space. This results in a nonlocal but banded representation (even for local potentials) which is fully compatible with nonlocal pseudopotential operators. As a demonstration, this scheme is tested in one dimension for three types of potentials: a local pseudopotential, a nonlocal pseudopotential, and a local pseudopotential with self-consistent Hartree and exchange-correlation potentials. This scheme is found to reduce fluctuations of examined quantities by at least three orders of magnitude. The approach requires neither grid adaptation nor pseudopotential modification and can be readily extended to the three-dimensional case.

*J Chem Theory Comput ; 16(1): 666-676, 2020 Jan 14.*

##### RESUMO

The importance of many-body dispersion effects in layered materials subjected to high external loads is evaluated. State-of-the-art many-body dispersion density functional theory calculations performed for graphite, hexagonal boron nitride, and their heterostructures were used to fit the parameters of a classical registry-dependent interlayer potential. Using the latter, we performed extensive equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations and studied the mechanical response of homogeneous and heterogeneous bulk models under hydrostatic pressures up to 30 GPa. Comparison with experimental data demonstrates that the reliability of the many-body dispersion model extends deep into the subequilibrium regime. Friction simulations demonstrate the importance of many-body dispersion effects for the accurate description of the tribological properties of layered material interfaces under high pressure.

*Nat Commun ; 10(1): 5565, 2019 12 05.*

##### RESUMO

Key spin transport phenomena, including magnetoresistance and spin transfer torque, cannot be activated without spin-polarized currents, in which one electron spin is dominant. At the nanoscale, the relevant length-scale for modern spintronics, spin current generation is rather limited due to unwanted contributions from poorly spin-polarized frontier states in ferromagnetic electrodes, or too short length-scales for efficient spin splitting by spin-orbit interaction and magnetic fields. Here, we show that spin-polarized currents can be generated in silver-vanadocene-silver single molecule junctions without magnetic components or magnetic fields. In some cases, the measured spin currents approach the limit of ideal ballistic spin transport. Comparison between conductance and shot-noise measurements to detailed calculations reveals a mechanism based on spin-dependent quantum interference that yields very efficient spin filtering. Our findings pave the way for nanoscale spintronics based on quantum interference, with the advantages of low sensitivity to decoherence effects and the freedom to use non-magnetic materials.

*Nat Commun ; 10(1): 5256, 2019 11 20.*

##### RESUMO

The variety and complexity of DNA-based structures make them attractive candidates for nanotechnology, yet insufficient stability and mechanical rigidity, compared to polyamide-based molecules, limit their application. Here, we combine the advantages of polyamide materials and the structural patterns inspired by nucleic-acids to generate a mechanically rigid fluorenylmethyloxycarbonyl (Fmoc)-guanine peptide nucleic acid (PNA) conjugate with diverse morphology and photoluminescent properties. The assembly possesses a unique atomic structure, with each guanine head of one molecule hydrogen bonded to the Fmoc carbonyl tail of another molecule, generating a non-planar cyclic quartet arrangement. This structure exhibits an average stiffness of 69.6 ± 6.8 N m-1 and Young's modulus of 17.8 ± 2.5 GPa, higher than any previously reported nucleic acid derived structure. This data suggests that the unique cation-free "basket" formed by the Fmoc-G-PNA conjugate can serve as an attractive component for the design of new materials based on PNA self-assembly for nanotechnology applications.

##### Assuntos

Fluorenos/química , Guanina/química , Nanoestruturas/ultraestrutura , Ácidos Nucleicos Peptídicos/ultraestrutura , Cristalografia por Raios X , DNA , Módulo de Elasticidade , Microscopia Eletrônica de Varredura , Modelos Moleculares , Nanoestruturas/química , Nanotecnologia , Ácidos Nucleicos Peptídicos/química*J Am Chem Soc ; 141(50): 19736-19745, 2019 Dec 18.*

##### RESUMO

The eyes of many fish contain a reflecting layer of organic crystals partially surrounding the photoreceptors of the retina, which are commonly believed to be composed of guanine. Here we study an unusual fish eye from Stizostedion lucioperca that contains two layers of organic crystals. The crystals in the outer layer are thin plates, whereas the crystals in the inner tapetum layer are block-shaped. We show that the outer layer indeed contains guanine crystals. Analyses of solutions of crystals from the inner layer indicated that the block-shaped crystals are composed of xanthopterin. A model of the structure of the block-shaped crystals was produced using symmetry arguments based on electron diffraction data followed by dispersion-augmented DFT calculations. The resulting crystal structure of xanthopterin included, however, a problematic repulsive interaction between CâO and N of two adjacent molecules. Knowing that dissolved 7,8-dihydroxanthopterin can oxidize to xanthopterin, we replaced xanthopterin with 7,8-dihydroxanthopterin in the model. An excellent fit was obtained with the powder X-ray diffraction pattern of the biogenic crystals. We then analyzed the biogenic block-shaped crystals in their solid state, using MALDI-TOF and Raman spectroscopy. All three methods unequivocally prove that the block-shaped crystals in the eye of S. lucioperca are crystals of 7,8-dihydroxanthopterin. On the basis of the eye anatomy, we deduce that the guanine crystals form a reflective layer producing the silvery color present on part of the eye surface, whereas the block-shaped crystals backscatter light into the retina in order to increase the light sensitivity of the eye.

*Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 21(36): 19805-19815, 2019 Sep 18.*

##### RESUMO

We report on previously unnoticed features of the exact Hartree-exchange and correlation potentials for atoms and ions treated via ensemble density functional theory, demonstrated on fractional ions of Li, C, and F. We show that these potentials, when treated separately, can reach non-vanishing asymptotic constant values in the outer region of spherical, spin unpolarized atoms. In the next leading order, the potentials resemble Coulomb potentials created by effective charges which have the peculiarity of not behaving as piecewise constants as a function of the electron number. We provide analytical derivations and complement them with numerical results using the inversion of the Kohn-Sham equations for interacting densities obtained by accurate quantum Monte Carlo calculations. The present results expand on the knowledge of crucial exact properties of Kohn-Sham systems, which can guide development of advanced exchange-correlation approximations.

*Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 21(39): 21875-21881, 2019 Oct 09.*

##### RESUMO

Controlled modification of the semiconductor surface work function is of fundamental importance for improvements in the efficiency of (opto-)electronic devices. Binding amino acids to a semiconductor surface through their common carboxylic group offers a versatile tool for modulation of surface properties by the choice of their side chain. This approach is demonstrated here by tailoring the surface work function of indium tin oxide, one of the most abundant transparent electrodes in organic optoelectronic devices. We find that the work function can be systematically tuned by the side chain of the amino acid, resulting in either an increase or a decrease of the work function, over a large range of â¼250 meV. This side chain effect is mostly due to alteration of the dipole component perpendicular to the surface, with a generally smaller contribution for changes in surface band bending. These findings also shed light on electronic interactions at the interface between proteins and semiconductors, which are of importance for future bio-electronic devices.

##### Assuntos

Aminoácidos/química , Compostos de Estanho/química , Adsorção , Técnicas Eletroquímicas/métodos , Eletrodos , Modelos Químicos , Conformação Molecular , Semicondutores , Relação Estrutura-Atividade , Propriedades de Superfície*J Chem Theory Comput ; 15(9): 4885-4895, 2019 Sep 10.*

##### RESUMO

We present a comprehensive analysis of magnetic coupling in a group of three popular chromium-based molecular rings, the homometallic Cr8 ring and the heterometallic Cr7Ni and Cr7Zn molecules. We show conclusively that the broken symmetry approach within density functional theory (DFT), based on suitable conventional or range-separated hybrid functionals, provides a quantitatively reliable tool to extract magnetic exchange coupling parameters in all rings considered, which opens a window for additional applications in molecular magnetism. We further show that a nonempirical model spin Hamiltonian, based on the parameters extracted from DFT, leads to excellent agreement with experimental susceptibility data and energy spectra. Moreover, based on an optimally tuned range-separated hybrid functional approach, we find that gas-phase gaps of the studied molecular rings are much larger than previously calculated and discuss the implications of the revised electronic structure to potential applications in molecular spintronics.

*J Phys Chem Lett ; 10(16): 4490-4498, 2019 Aug 15.*

##### RESUMO

We consider the Br vacancy in CsPbBr3 as a prototype for the impact of structural dynamics on defect energetics in halide perovskites (HaPs). Using first-principles molecular dynamics based on density functional theory, we find that the static picture of defect energetics breaks down; the energy level associated with a Br vacancy is found to be intrinsically dynamic, oscillating by as much as 1 eV on the picosecond time scale at room temperature. These significant energy fluctuations are correlated with the distance between the neighboring Pb atoms across the vacancy and with the electrostatic potential at these Pb atomic sites. We expect this unusually strong coupling of structural dynamics and defect energetics to bear important implications for both experimental and theoretical analyses of defect characteristics in HaPs. It may also hold significant ramifications for carrier transport and defect tolerance in this class of photovoltaic materials.

*J Phys Chem Lett ; 10(3): 601-609, 2019 Feb 07.*

##### RESUMO

Photovoltaic cells based on halide perovskites, possessing remarkably high power conversion efficiencies have been reported. To push the development of such devices further, a comprehensive and reliable understanding of their electronic properties is essential but presently not available. To provide a solid foundation for understanding the electronic properties of polycrystalline thin films, we employ single-crystal band structure data from angle-resolved photoemission measurements. For two prototypical perovskites (CH3NH3PbBr3 and CH3NH3PbI3), we reveal the band dispersion in two high-symmetry directions and identify the global valence band maxima. With these benchmark data, we construct "standard" photoemission spectra from polycrystalline thin film samples and resolve challenges discussed in the literature for determining the valence band onset with high reliability. Within the framework laid out here, the consistency of relating the energy level alignment in perovskite-based photovoltaic and optoelectronic devices with their functional parameters is substantially enhanced.

*J Chem Theory Comput ; 14(12): 6287-6294, 2018 Dec 11.*

##### RESUMO

Range-separated hybrid (RSH) functionals have been shown to overcome the tendency of traditional density functional theory to underestimate the fundamental orbital gap. More recently, the screened RSH (SRSH) approach has been developed as a means to extend these functionals to address the effect of the electrostatic environment on the fundamental gap. Here, we report a scheme that combines the SRSH formulation with the polarized continuum model (PCM) within a consistent framework for addressing long-range screened electrostatic interactions, which is further improved by optimal tuning (OT). The quantitative predictive power of the new OT-SRSH-PCM scheme is demonstrated by addressing fundamental gaps in thin films of organic semiconducting materials. This is especially impressive as the approach is based on single molecule calculations. We also discuss the advantages of this approach over alternative schemes combining PCM with RSH. In particular, we show that it avoids the well-documented tendency of standard OT to collapse the range separation parameter when performed within a dielectric continuum.

*Adv Mater ; 30(41): e1805218, 2018 10.*

*J Chem Phys ; 149(6): 064306, 2018 Aug 14.*

##### RESUMO

We present results and analyses for the photoelectron spectra of small copper oxide cluster anions (CuO-, Cu O2- , Cu O3- , and Cu2O-). The spectra are computed using various techniques, including density functional theory (DFT) with semi-local, global hybrid, and optimally tuned range-separated hybrid functionals, as well as many-body perturbation theory within the GW approximation based on various DFT starting points. The results are compared with each other and with the available experimental data. We conclude that as in many metal-organic systems, self-interaction errors are a major issue that is mitigated by hybrid functionals. However, these need to be balanced against a strong role of non-dynamical correlation-especially in smaller, more symmetric systems-where errors are alleviated by semi-local functionals. The relative importance of the two phenomena, including practical ways of balancing the two constraints, is discussed in detail.

*J Chem Theory Comput ; 14(6): 2919-2929, 2018 Jun 12.*

##### RESUMO

We show that fundamental gaps and optical spectra of molecular solids can be predicted quantitatively and nonempirically within the framework of time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) using the recently developed optimally tuned screened range-separated hybrid (OT-SRSH) functional approach. In this scheme, the electronic structure of the gas-phase molecule is determined by optimal tuning of the range-separation parameter in a range-separated hybrid functional. Screening and polarization in the solid state are taken into account by adding long-range dielectric screening to the functional form, with the modified functional used to perform self-consistent periodic-boundary calculations for the crystalline solid. We provide a comprehensive benchmark for the accuracy of our approach by considering the X23 set of molecular solids and comparing results obtained from TDDFT with those obtained from many-body perturbation theory in the GW-BSE approximation. We additionally compare results obtained from dielectric screening computed within the random-phase approximation to those obtained from the computationally more efficient many-body dispersion approach and find that this influences the fundamental gap but has little effect on the optical spectra. Our approach is therefore robust and can be used for studies of molecular solids that are typically beyond the reach of computationally more intensive methods.

*J Chem Phys ; 148(17): 174101, 2018 May 07.*

##### RESUMO

By studying the lowest excitations of an exactly solvable one-dimensional soft-Coulomb molecular model, we show that components of Kohn-Sham ensembles can be used to describe charge transfer processes. Furthermore, we compute the approximate excitation energies obtained by using the exact ensemble densities in the recently formulated ensemble Hartree-exchange theory [T. Gould and S. Pittalis, Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 243001 (2017)]. Remarkably, our results show that triplet excitations are accurately reproduced across a dissociation curve in all cases tested, even in systems where ground state energies are poor due to strong static correlations. Singlet excitations exhibit larger deviations from exact results but are still reproduced semi-quantitatively.

*Science ; 360(6395): 1331-1334, 2018 06 22.*

##### RESUMO

It is commonly assumed that recognition and discrimination of chirality, both in nature and in artificial systems, depend solely on spatial effects. However, recent studies have suggested that charge redistribution in chiral molecules manifests an enantiospecific preference in electron spin orientation. We therefore reasoned that the induced spin polarization may affect enantiorecognition through exchange interactions. Here we show experimentally that the interaction of chiral molecules with a perpendicularly magnetized substrate is enantiospecific. Thus, one enantiomer adsorbs preferentially when the magnetic dipole is pointing up, whereas the other adsorbs faster for the opposite alignment of the magnetization. The interaction is not controlled by the magnetic field per se, but rather by the electron spin orientations, and opens prospects for a distinct approach to enantiomeric separations.

*Adv Mater ; 30(41): e1706560, 2018 Oct.*

##### RESUMO

A short overview of recent attempts at merging two independently developed methods is presented. These are the optimal tuning of a range-separated hybrid (OT-RSH) functional, developed to provide an accurate first-principles description of the electronic structure and optical properties of gas-phase molecules, and the polarizable continuum model (PCM), developed to provide an approximate but computationally tractable description of a solvent in terms of an effective dielectric medium. After a brief overview of the OT-RSH approach, its combination with the PCM as a potentially accurate yet low-cost approach to the study of molecular assemblies and solids, particularly in the context of photocatalysis and photovoltaics, is discussed. First, solvated molecules are considered, with an emphasis on the challenge of balancing eigenvalue and total energy trends. Then, it is shown that the same merging of methods can also be used to study the electronic and optical properties of molecular solids, with a similar discussion of the pros and cons. Tuning of the effective scalar dielectric constant as one recent approach that mitigates some of the difficulties in merging the two approaches is considered.

*Adv Mater ; 30(20): e1800691, 2018 May.*

##### RESUMO

The notion that halide perovskite crystals (ABX3 , where X is a halide) exhibit unique structural and optoelectronic behavior deserves serious scrutiny. After decades of steady and half a decade of intense research, the question which attributes of these materials are unusual, is discussed, with an emphasis on the identification of the most important remaining issues. The goal is to stimulate discussion rather than to merely present a community consensus.

*Beilstein J Org Chem ; 14: 381-388, 2018.*

##### RESUMO

We present a computational analysis of the terahertz spectra of the monoclinic and the orthorhombic polymorphs of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene. Very good agreement with experimental data is found when using density functional theory that includes Tkatchenko-Scheffler pair-wise dispersion interactions. Furthermore, we show that for these polymorphs the theoretical results are only weakly affected by many-body dispersion contributions. The absence of dispersion interactions, however, causes sizable shifts in vibrational frequencies and directly affects the spatial character of the vibrational modes. Mode assignment allows for a distinction between the contributions of the monoclinic and orthorhombic polymorphs and shows that modes in the range from 0 to ca. 3.3 THz comprise both inter- and intramolecular vibrations, with the former dominating below ca. 1.5 THz. We also find that intramolecular contributions primarily involve the nitro and methyl groups. Finally, we present a prediction for the terahertz spectrum of 1,3,5-trinitrobenzene, showing that a modest chemical change leads to a markedly different terahertz spectrum.