Reactive adsorption of ammonia and ammonia/water on CuBTC metal-organic framework: A ReaxFF molecular dynamics simulation

Liangliang Huang, Teresa Bandosz, Kaushik L. Joshi, Adri C.T. Van Duin, Keith E. Gubbins

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We report ReaxFF molecular dynamics simulations for reactive adsorption of NH3 on dehydrated CuBTC metal-organic framework. If the temperature is moderate (up to 125 °C), the dehydrated CuBTC demonstrates a good hydrostatic stability for water concentrations up to 4.0 molecules per copper site. However, if the temperature increases to 550 K, the dehydrated CuBTC will collapse even at a small water concentration, 1.0 H2O molecule per copper site. When NH3 molecules are adsorbed in the channel and micropores of CuBTC, they prefer to chemisorb to the copper sites rather than forming a dimer with another NH3 molecule. The formation of equimolar Cu2(NH2)4 and (NH4)3BTC structures is observed at 348 K, which is in good agreement with previous experimental findings. The dehydrated CuBTC framework is partially collapsed upon NH3 adsorption, while the Cu-Cu dimer structure remains stable under the investigated conditions. Further calculations reveal that the stability of CuBTC is related to the ammonia concentration. The critical NH 3 concentration after which the dehydrated CuBTC starts to collapse is determined to be 1.0 NH3 molecule per copper site. Depending on whether NH3 concentration is below or above the critical value, the dehydrated CuBTC can be stable to a higher temperature, 378 K, or can collapse at a lower temperature, 250 K. H2O/NH3 mixtures have also been studied, and we find that although water molecules do not demonstrate a strong interaction with the copper sites of CuBTC, the existence of water molecules can substantially prevent ammonia from interacting with CuBTC, and thus reduce the amount of chemisorbed NH3 molecules on CuBTC and stabilize the CuBTC framework to some extent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number034102
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 21 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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