Adapting UFF4MOF for Heterometallic Rare-Earth Metal-Organic Frameworks

YH Yang and IA Ibikunle and DFS Gallis and DS Sholl, ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, 14, 54101-54110 (2022).

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.2c16726

Heterometallic metal-organic frameworks based on rare-earth metals (RE- MOFs) have potential in a number of applications where energy transfer between nearby metal atoms is required. This observation implies that it is important to understand the level of local mixing that is achieved between metals of different types during synthesis of RE-MOFs. Density functional theory calculations can give quantitative information on the relative energy of different configurations of RE-MOFs, but these calculations cannot be applied to the full range of medium and long- range orderings that are possible in heterometallic materials. This limitation can be overcome using force field (FF)based calculations if appropriate FFs are available. We show that an existing generic FF for MOFs, UFF4MOF, does not accurately predict energies of mixing in heterometallic Nd/Yb MOFs and introduce a modified FF to address this shortcoming. The resulting FF is used to explore metal orderings in large simulation volumes for a Nd/Yb MOF, illustrating the complexities that can arise in the structure of heterometallic RE-MOFs.KEYWORDS: metal-organic frameworks, rare-earth elements, force fields, energy of mixing, long-range order

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