Recent Submissions

  • Cenosphere formation from heavy fuel oil: a numerical analysis accounting for the balance between porous shells and internal pressure

    Vanteru, Mahendra Reddy; Rahman, Mustafa M.; Gandi, Appala; Elbaz, Ayman M.; Schrecengost, Robert A.; Roberts, William L. (Informa UK Limited, 2016-01-18)
    Heavy fuel oil (HFO) as a fuel in industrial and power generation plants ensures the availability of energy at economy. Coke and cenosphere emissions from HFO combustion need to be controlled by particulate control equipment such as electrostatic precipitators, and collection effectiveness is impacted by the properties of these particulates. The cenosphere formation is a function of HFO composition, which varies depending on the source of the HFO. Numerical modelling of the cenosphere formation mechanism presented in this paper is an economical method of characterising cenosphere formation potential for HFO in comparison to experimental analysis of individual HFO samples, leading to better control and collection. In the present work, a novel numerical model is developed for understanding the global cenosphere formation mechanism. The critical diameter of the cenosphere is modelled based on the balance between two pressures developed in an HFO droplet. First is the pressure (Prpf) developed at the interface of the liquid surface and the inner surface of the accumulated coke due to the flow restriction of volatile components from the interior of the droplet. Second is the pressure due to the outer shell strength (PrC) gained from van der Walls energy of the coke layers and surface energy. In this present study it is considered that when PrC ≥ Prpf the outer shell starts to harden. The internal motion in the shell layer ceases and the outer diameter (DSOut) of the shell is then fixed. The entire process of cenosphere formation in this study is analysed in three phases: regression, shell formation and hardening, and post shell hardening. Variations in pressures during shell formation are analysed. Shell (cenosphere) dimensions are evaluated at the completion of droplet evaporation. The rate of fuel evaporation, rate of coke formation and coke accumulation are analysed. The model predicts shell outer diameters of 650, 860 and 1040 µm, and inner diameters are 360, 410 and 430 µm respectively, for 700, 900 and 1100 µm HFO droplets. The present numerical model is validated with experimental results available from the literature. Total variation between computational and experimental results is in the range of 3–7%.
  • First-principles determination of the K-conductivity pathways in KAlO2

    Peskov, Maxim; Schwingenschlögl, Udo (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2015-04-30)
    Investigation of novel fast ion-conducting materials requires an accurate description of the ionic diffusion. The tiling method proposed by Blatov and coworkers, based on geometric characteristics, is a viable alternative to molecular dynamics simulations, allowing us to build models of the pathway system in crystal structures; however, the reliability is limited. Using first-principles simulations, we calculate the potential barriers of the ionic migration between voids in the structure of KAlO2 with local framework distortions and compare the results with those of the tiling method. We estimate the potential barriers for complex ion-conducting channels including several hopping distances. The effect of Coulomb interaction between charge carriers located in adjacent pathways on the potential barriers is discussed, and the effects of the framework flexibility are analyzed. Quantitative results on the potential barriers of ionic diffusion in a crystal structure and its dependence on the shape of the channels are important for assessing the potential of a specific compound. © 2015 American Chemical Society.
  • Mechanism of H2O-Induced Conductance Changes in AuCl4-Functionalized CNTs

    Murat, Altynbek; Rungger, Ivan; Sanvito, Stefano; Schwingenschlögl, Udo (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2015-04-30)
    We employ ab initio self-interaction corrected density functional theory combined with the nonequilibrium Green's function method to study the electronic and quantum transport properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) functionalized with AuCl4 molecules. In particular, we investigate the electronic structure and characterize the conductance for different concentrations and configurations of randomly distributed AuCl4 molecules with and without the adsorption of H2O. We thus propose a mechanism that explains the origin of the recently observed resistivity changes of AuCl4-functionalized CNTs upon H2O adsorption. We find that water adsorption shifts the highest occupied Cl and Au states down in energy and thereby reduces the scattering of the electrons around the Fermi energy, hence enhancing the conductivity. Our results help in the development of highly sensitive nanoscale H2O vapor sensors based on AuCl4-functionalized CNTs. © 2015 American Chemical Society.
  • Stability and electronic properties of silicene on WSe2

    Zhu, Jiajie; Schwingenschlögl, Udo (Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2015-03-17)
    Many semiconducting substrates, such as GaS and MgBr2, have been explored for silicene. However, large lattice mismatches, complicated control of terminal layers and small band gaps are critical limiting factors. First-principles results on the stability and electronic properties of silicene on WSe2 show that the energy barriers for lateral translation between the two subsystems are very small due to weak van der Waals interactions. For the same reason, the Dirac physics of silicene is preserved. It turns out that the induced band gap is sufficient to withstand thermal fluctuations. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2015.
  • Thermoelectric response of bulk and monolayer MoSe2 and WSe2

    Sarath Kumar, S. R.; Schwingenschlögl, Udo (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2015-02-24)
    We study the thermoelectric properties of bulk and monolayer MoSe2 and WSe2 by first-principles calculations and semiclassical Boltzmann transport theory. The lattice thermal conductivity is calculated using the self-consistent iterative approach as well as the single-mode relaxation time approximation. The acoustical and optical contributions to the lattice thermal conductivity are evaluated along with the influence of the phonon mean free path. The employed methodology enables a quantitative comparison of the thermoelectric properties of transition-metal dichalcogenides. In particular, WSe2 is found to be superior to MoSe2 for thermoelectric applications.
  • Long-range interaction of anisotropic systems

    Zhang, Junyi; Schwingenschlögl, Udo (IOP Publishing, 2015-02-01)
    The first-order electrostatic interaction energy between two far-apart anisotropic atoms depends not only on the distance between them but also on their relative orientation, according to Rayleigh-Schrödinger perturbation theory. Using the first-order interaction energy and the continuum model, we study the long-range interaction between a pair of parallel pristine graphene sheets at zero temperature. The asymptotic form of the obtained potential density, &epsi:(D) &prop: ?D ?3 ?O(D?4), is consistent with the random phase approximation and Lifshitz theory. Accordingly, neglectance of the anisotropy, especially the nonzero first-order interaction energy, is the reason why the widely used Lennard-Jones potential approach and dispersion corrections in density functional theory give a wrong asymptotic form ε(D) &prop: ?D?4. © EPLA, 2015.
  • Twin boundary-assisted lithium-ion transport

    Nie, Anmin; Gan, Liyong; Cheng, Yingchun; Li, Qianqian; Yuan, Yifei; Mashayek, Farzad; Wang, Hongtao; Klie, Robert F.; Schwingenschlögl, Udo; Shahbazian-Yassar, Reza (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2015-01-14)
    With the increased need for high-rate Li-ion batteries, it has become apparent that new electrode materials with enhanced Li-ion transport should be designed. Interfaces, such as twin boundaries (TBs), offer new opportunities to navigate the ionic transport within nanoscale materials. Here, we demonstrate the effects of TBs on the Li-ion transport properties in single crystalline SnO2 nanowires. It is shown that the TB-assisted lithiation pathways are remarkably different from the previously reported lithiation behavior in SnO2 nanowires without TBs. Our in situ transmission electron microscopy study combined with direct atomic-scale imaging of the initial lithiation stage of the TB-SnO2 nanowires prove that the lithium ions prefer to intercalate in the vicinity of the (101¯) TB, which acts as conduit for lithium-ion diffusion inside the nanowires. The density functional theory modeling shows that it is energetically preferred for lithium ions to accumulate near the TB compared to perfect neighboring lattice area. These findings may lead to the design of new electrode materials that incorporate TBs as efficient lithium pathways, and eventually, the development of next generation rechargeable batteries that surpass the rate performance of the current commercial Li-ion batteries.
  • Ultrafast palladium diffusion in germanium

    Tahini, Hassan Ali; Chroneos, Alexander I.; Middleburgh, Simon C.; Schwingenschlögl, Udo; Grimes, Robin W. (Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2015)
    The slow transport of dopants through crystal lattices has hindered the development of novel devices. Typically atoms are contained within deep potential energy wells which necessitates multiple attempts to hop between minimum energy positions. This is because the bonds that constrain atoms are strongest at the minimum positions. As they hop between sites the bonds must be broken, only to re-form as the atoms slide into adjacent minima. Here we demonstrate that the Pd atoms introduced into the Ge lattice behave differently. They retain bonds as the atoms shift across so that at the energy maximum between sites Pd still exhibits strong bonding characteristics. This reduces the energy maximum to almost nothing (a migration energy of only 0.03 eV) and means that the transport of Pd through the Ge lattice is ultrafast. We scrutinize the bonding characteristics at the atomic level using quantum mechanical simulation tools and demonstrate why Pd behaves so differently to other metals we investigated (i.e. Li, Cu, Ag, Pt and Au). Consequently, this fundamental understanding can be extended to systems where extremely rapid diffusion is desired, such as radiation sensors, batteries and solid oxide fuel cells.
  • VV and VO2 defects in silicon studied with hybrid density functional theory

    Christopoulos, Stavros Richard G; Wang, Hao; Chroneos, Alexander I.; Londos, Charalampos A.; Sgourou, Efstratia N.; Schwingenschlögl, Udo (Springer Nature, 2014-12-07)
    The formation of VO (A-center), VV and VO2 defects in irradiated Czochralski-grown silicon (Si) is of technological importance. Recent theoretical studies have examined the formation and charge states of the A-center in detail. Here we use density functional theory employing hybrid functionals to analyze the formation of VV and VO2 defects. The formation energy as a function of the Fermi energy is calculated for all possible charge states. For the VV and VO2 defects double negatively charged and neutral states dominate, respectively.
  • Origin of the phase transition in lithiated molybdenum disulfide

    Cheng, Yingchun; Nie, Anmin; Zhang, Qingyun; Gan, Liyong; Shahbazian-Yassar, Reza; Schwingenschlögl, Udo (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2014-11-25)
    Phase transitions and phase engineering in two-dimensional MoS2 are important for applications in electronics and energy storage. By in situ transmission electron microscopy, we find that H-MoS2 transforms to T-LiMoS2 at the early stages of lithiation followed by the formation of Mo and Li2S phases. The transition from H-MoS2 to T-LiMoS2 is explained in terms of electron doping and electron - phonon coupling at the conduction band minima. Both are essential for the development of two-dimensional semiconductor-metal contacts based on MoS2 and the usage of MoS2 as anode material in Li ion batteries. (Figure Presented).
  • WS2 as an excellent high-temperature thermoelectric material

    Gandi, Appala; Schwingenschlögl, Udo (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2014-11-25)
    The potential of WS2 as a thermoelectric material is assessed. The electronic contribution to the thermoelectric properties is calculated within the constant relaxation time approximation from the electronic band structure, whereas the lattice contribution is evaluated using self-consistently calculated phonon lifetimes. In addition, the dependence of the lattice thermal conductivity on the mean free path of the phonons is determined.
  • Band gap opening in silicene on MgBr2(0001) induced by Li and Na

    Zhu, Jiajie; Schwingenschlögl, Udo (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2014-11-12)
    Silicene consists of a monolayer of Si atoms in a buckled honeycomb structure and is expected to be well compatible with the current Si-based technology. However, the band gap is strongly influenced by the substrate. In this context, the structural and electronic properties of silicene on MgBr2(0001) modified by Li and Na are investigated by first-principles calculations. Charge transfer from silicene (substrate) to substrate (silicene) is found for substitutional doping (intercalation). As compared to a band gap of 0.01 eV on the pristine substrate, strongly enhanced band gaps of 0.65 eV (substitutional doping) and 0.24 eV (intercalation) are achieved. The band gap increases with the dopant concentration.
  • Tunable thermoelectricity in monolayers of MoS2 and other group-VI dichalcogenides

    Tahir, M; Schwingenschlögl, Udo (IOP Publishing, 2014-10-31)
    We study the thermoelectric properties of monolayers of MoS2 and other group-VI dichalcogenides under circularly polarized off-resonant light. Analytical expressions are derived for the Berry phase mediated magnetic moment, orbital magnetization, as well as thermal and Nernst conductivities. Tuning of the band gap by off-resonant light enhances the spin splitting in both the valence and conduction bands and, thus, leads to a dramatic improvement of the spin and valley thermoelectric properties.
  • Enhanced solar light absorption of graphene by interaction with anisole

    Kahaly, M. Upadhyay; Schwingenschlögl, Udo (Elsevier BV, 2014-10)
    We study suspended graphene in contact with the organic molecule anisole to analyse the implications of the interaction for the optical absorption, using first principle calculations. Because of a weak interaction multiple orientations of the molecule with respect to the graphene sheet are possible. A substantial enhancement of the optical absorption independent of the specific orientation is observed, which is promising for energy harvesting. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Lithiation-induced shuffling of atomic stacks

    Nie, Anmin; Cheng, Yingchun; Zhu, Yihan; Asayesh-Ardakani, Hasti; Tao, Runzhe; Mashayek, Farzad; Han, Yu; Schwingenschlögl, Udo; Klie, Robert F.; Vaddiraju, Sreeram; Shahbazian-Yassar, Reza (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2014-09-10)
    In rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, understanding the atomic-scale mechanism of Li-induced structural evolution occurring at the host electrode materials provides essential knowledge for design of new high performance electrodes. Here, we report a new crystalline-crystalline phase transition mechanism in single-crystal Zn-Sb intermetallic nanowires upon lithiation. Using in situ transmission electron microscopy, we observed that stacks of atomic planes in an intermediate hexagonal (h-)LiZnSb phase are "shuffled" to accommodate the geometrical confinement stress arising from lamellar nanodomains intercalated by lithium ions. Such atomic rearrangement arises from the anisotropic lithium diffusion and is accompanied by appearance of partial dislocations. This transient structure mediates further phase transition from h-LiZnSb to cubic (c-)Li2ZnSb, which is associated with a nearly "zero-strain" coherent interface viewed along the [001]h/[111]c directions. This study provides new mechanistic insights into complex electrochemically driven crystalline-crystalline phase transitions in lithium-ion battery electrodes and represents a noble example of atomic-level structural and interfacial rearrangements.
  • Tuning the optical response in carbon doped boron nitride nanodots

    Mokkath, Junais Habeeb; Schwingenschlögl, Udo (Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2014-09-04)
    Time dependent density functional theory and the hybrid B3LYP functional are used to investigate the structural and optical properties of pristine and carbon doped hexagonal boron nitride nanodots. In agreement with recent experiments, the embedded carbon atoms are found to favor nucleation. Our results demonstrate that carbon clusters of different shapes promote an early onset of absorption by generating in-gap states. The nanodots are interesting for opto-electronics due to their tunable optical response in a wide energy window. We identify cluster sizes and shapes with optimal conversion efficiency for solar radiation and a wide absorption range form infrared to ultraviolet. This journal is
  • Fate of half-metallicity near interfaces: The case of NiMnSb/MgO and NiMnSi/MgO

    Zhang, Ruijing; Eckern, Ulrich; Schwingenschlögl, Udo (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2014-08-27)
    The electronic and magnetic properties of the interfaces between the half-metallic Heusler alloys NiMnSb, NiMnSi, and MgO have been investigated using first-principles density-functional calculations with projector augmented wave potentials generated in the generalized gradient approximation. In the case of the NiMnSb/MgO (100) interface, the half-metallicity is lost, whereas the MnSb/MgO contact in the NiMnSb/MgO (100) interface maintains a substantial degree of spin polarization at the Fermi level (∼60%). Remarkably, the NiMnSi/MgO (111) interface shows 100% spin polarization at the Fermi level, despite considerable distortions at the interface, as well as rather short Si/O bonds after full structural optimization. This behavior markedly distinguishes NiMnSi/MgO (111) from the corresponding NiMnSb/CdS and NiMnSb/InP interfaces. © 2014 American Chemical Society.
  • Giant Rashba spin splitting in Bi2Se3: Tl

    Singh, Nirpendra; Saeed, Yasir; Schwingenschlögl, Udo (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014-07-25)
    First-principles calculations are employed to demonstrate a giant Rashba spin splitting in Bi2Se3:Tl. Biaxial tensile and compressive strain is used to tune the splitting by modifying the potential gradient. The band gap is found to increase under compression and decreases under tension, whereas the dependence of the Rashba spin splitting on the strain is the opposite. Large values of αR = 1.57 eV Å at the bottom of the conduction band (electrons) and αR = 3.34 eV Å at the top of the valence band (holes) are obtained without strain. These values can be further enhanced to αR = 1.83 eV Å and αR = 3.64 eV Å, respectively, by 2% tensile strain. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
  • Structural and electronic properties of silicene on MgX2 (X = Cl, Br, and I)

    Zhu, Jiajie; Schwingenschlögl, Udo (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2014-07-23)
    Silicene is a monolayer of Si atoms in a two-dimensional honeycomb lattice, being expected to be compatible with current Si-based nanoelectronics. The behavior of silicene is strongly influenced by the substrate. In this context, its structural and electronic properties on MgX2 (X = Cl, Br, and I) have been investigated using first-principles calculations. Different locations of the Si atoms are found to be energetically degenerate because of the weak van der Waals interaction with the substrates. The Si buckling height is below 0.55 Å, which is close to the value of free-standing silicene (0.49 Å). Importantly, the Dirac cone of silicene is well preserved on MgX2 (located slightly above the Fermi level), and the band gaps induced by the substrate are less than 0.1 eV. Application of an external electric field and stacking can be used to increase the band gap. © 2014 American Chemical Society.
  • Molecular dynamics investigation of carbon nanotube junctions in non-aqueous solutions

    Gkionis, Konstantinos; Obodo, Tobechukwu Joshua; Cucinotta, Clotilde S.; Sanvito, Stefano; Schwingenschlögl, Udo (Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2014-07-23)
    The properties of liquids in a confined environment are known to differ from those in the bulk. Extending this knowledge to geometries defined by two metallic layers in contact with the ends of a carbon nanotube is important for describing a large class of nanodevices that operate in non-aqueous environments. Here we report a series of classical molecular dynamics simulations for gold-electrode junctions in acetone, cyclohexane and N,N-dimethylformamide solutions and analyze the structure and the dynamics of the solvents in different regions of the nanojunction. The presence of the nanotube has little effect on the ordering of the solvents along its axis, while in the transversal direction deviations are observed. Importantly, the orientational dynamics of the solvents at the electrode-nanotube interface differ dramatically from that found when only the electrodes are present.

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