Global minima for (MgO)n structures were optimized using a tree growth−hybrid genetic algorithm in conjunction with MNDO/MNDO/d semiempirical molecular orbital calculations followed by density functional theory geometry optimizations with the B3LYP functional. New lowest energy isomers were found for a number of (MgO)n clusters. The most stable isomers for (MgO)n (n > 3) are 3-dimensional. For n < 20, hexagonal tubular (MgO)n structures are more favored in energy than the cubic structures. The cubic structures and their variations dominate after n = 20. For the cubic isomers, increasing the size of the cluster in any dimension improves the stability. The effectiveness of increasing the size of the cluster in a specific dimension to improve stability diminishes as the size in that dimension increases. For cubic structures of the same size, the most compact cubic structure is expected to be the more stable cubic structure. The average Mg−O bond distance and coordination number both increase as n increases. The calculated average Mg−O bond distance is 2.055 Å at n = 40, slightly smaller than the bulk value of 2.104 Å. The average coordination number is predicted to be 4.6 for the lowest energy (MgO)40 as compared to the bulk value of 6. As n increases, the normalized clustering energy ΔE(n) for the (MgO)n increases and the slope of the ΔE(n)vs n curve decreases. The value of ΔE(40) is predicted to be 150 kcal/mol, as compared to the bulk value ΔE(∞) = 176 kcal/mol. The electronic properties of the clusters are presented and the reactive sites are predicted to be at the corners.
NMR and EPR
Interfacial and in situ biology—Innovative NMR instrumentation and techniques for probing properties of macromolecular cellular assemblies and in situ and ex situ metabolic processes, as well as for exploring biological membrane proteins in the solid state. Unique EPR and variable-temperature NMR approaches to explore structure and properties of redox metal centers critical catalysis, environmental chemistry and cell biology.
Environmental chemistry— EMSL offers a unique NMR system for radiological studies. Users can perform magic angle spinning of highly radioactive samples with a novel hermetically sealed 3.2mm NMR probe. These tools allow users to apply NMR techniques to critical areas of radiological research, including the study of radioactive waste processing and storage.
Interfacial and in situ chemistry—Leading-edge solid-state NMR probe technology to analyze and quantify properties of advanced energy materials, fuel cells and real-time catalytic processes. High power pulsed field gradient diffusion capabilities for liquid and solid samples.
EMSL offers unique and custom NMR and EPR tools, including probes for specialized studies.
- NMR spectrometers, ranging from 300 MHz to 850 MHz for high-field liquid-state, solid-state and micro-imaging techniques
- W- and X-band pulsed EPR spectremeter for probing metal centers in biological and materials systems
- NMR metabolomics capabilities
- Extreme-temperature probes, both high and low temperatures
- Virtual NMR tools for remote access to spectrometer systems.
Molecular systems important to biology, environmental remediation and sustainability are studied using a suite of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers with frequencies ranging from 300 to 850 MHz. A pair of electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrometers complement the capability.
A fully automated titration system with infrared detection was developed for investigating interfacial chemistry at high pressures. The apparatus consists of a high-pressure fluid generation and delivery system coupled to a high-pressure cell with infrared optics. A manifold of electronically actuated valves is used to direct pressurized fluids into the cell. Precise reagent additions to the pressurized cell are made with calibrated tubing loops that are filled with reagent and placed in-line with the cell and a syringe pump. The cell’s infrared optics facilitate both transmission and attenuated total reflection (ATR) measurements to monitor bulk-fluid composition and solid-surface phenomena such as adsorption, desorption, complexation, dissolution, and precipitation. Switching between the two measurement modes is accomplished with moveable mirrors that direct radiation from a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer into the cell along transmission or ATR light paths. The versatility of the high-pressure IR titration system is demonstrated with three case studies. First, we titrated water into supercritical CO2 (scCO2) to generate an infrared calibration curve and determine the solubility of water in CO2 at 50 °C and 90 bar. Next, we characterized the partitioning of water between a montmorillonite clay and scCO2 at 50 °C and 90 bar. Transmission-mode spectra were used to quantify changes in the clay’s sorbed water concentration as a function of scCO2 hydration, and ATR measurements provided insights into competitive residency of water and CO2 on the clay surface and in the interlayer. Finally, we demonstrated how time-dependent studies can be conducted with the system by monitoring the carbonation reaction of forsterite (Mg2SiO4) in water-bearing scCO2 at 50 °C and 90 bar. Immediately after water dissolved in the scCO2, a thin film of adsorbed water formed on the mineral surface, and the film thickness increased with time as the forsterite began to dissolve. However, after approximately 2.5 hours, the trend reversed, and a carbonate precipitate began to form on the forsterite surface, exposing dramatic chemical changes in the thin-water film. Collectively, these applications illustrate how the high-pressure IR titration system can provide molecular-level information about the interactions between variably wet scCO2 and minerals relevant to underground storage of CO2 (geologic carbon sequestration). The apparatus could also be utilized to study high-pressure interfacial chemistry in other areas such as catalysis, polymerization, food processing, and oil and gas recovery.
Understanding hydrogen formation on TiO2 surfaces is of great importance as it could provide fundamental insight into water splitting for hydrogen production using solar energy. In this work, hydrogen formation from glycols having different numbers of methyl end-groups have been studied using temperature pro-grammed desorption on reduced, hydroxylated, and oxidized TiO2(110) surfaces. The results from OD-labeled glycols demon-strate that gas-phase molecular hydrogen originates exclusively from glycol hydroxyl groups. The yield is controlled by a combi-nation of glycol coverage, steric hindrance, TiO2(110) order and the amount of subsurface charge. Combined, these results show that proximal pairs of hydroxyl aligned glycol molecules and subsurface charge are required to maximize the yield of this redox reaction. These findings highlight the importance of geometric and electronic effects in hydrogen formation from adsorbates on TiO2(110).
In H2 fuel cells, performance depends on factors controlling turnover frequency and energy efficiency in the electrocatalytic oxidation of H2. Nature uses the hydrogenase enzymes to oxidize H2 at high turnover frequencies (up to 20,000 s-1) and low overpotentials (<100 mV), while the fastest synthetic catalyst reported to date only oxidizes H2 at 50 s-1 under 1 atm H2. Here we report a water-soluble complex incorporating the amino acid arginine, [NiII(PCy2NArg2)2]6+, that operates at 210 s-1 (180 mV overpotential) under 1 atm H2 and 144,000 s-1 (460 mV overpotential) under 133 atm H2. The complex functions from pH 0-14 with rates increasing at lower pH values. The arginine groups impart water solubility and play a critical role in enhancing turnover frequency, most consistent with an intramolecular Arg-Arg interaction that controls the structure of the catalyst active site. This work was funded by the Office of Science Early Career Research Program through the US DOE, BES (AD, WJS), and the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US DOE, BES (JASR). PNNL is operated by Battelle for the US DOE.
An ab initio thermodynamic framework for predicting properties of hydrated magnesium carbonate minerals has been developed using density-functional theory linked to macroscopic thermodynamics through the experimental chemical potentials for MgO, water, and CO2. Including semiempirical dispersion via the Grimme method and small corrections to the generalized gradient approximation of Perdew, Burke, and Ernzerhof for the heat of formation yields a model with quantitative agreement for the benchmark minerals brucite, magnesite, nesquehonite, and hydromagnesite. The model shows how small differences in experimental conditions determine whether nesquehonite, hydromagnesite, or magnesite is the result of laboratory synthesis from carbonation of brucite, and what transformations are expected to occur on geological time scales. Because of the reliance on parameter-free first principles methods, the model is reliably extensible to experimental conditions not readily accessible to experiment and to any mineral composition for which the structure is known or can be hypothesized, including structures containing defects, substitutions, or transitional structures during solid state transformations induced by temperature changes or processes such as water, CO2, or O2 diffusion. Demonstrated applications of the ab initio thermodynamic framework include an independent means to evaluate differences in thermodynamic data for lansfordite, predicting the properties of Mg analogs of Ca-based hydrated carbonates monohydrocalcite and ikaite which have not been observed in nature, and an estimation of the thermodynamics of barringtonite from the stoichiometry and a single experimental observation.
Pressure overload cardiac hypertrophy alters substrate metabolism. Prior work showed that myocardial inactivation of c-Myc (Myc) attenuated hypertrophy and decreased expression of glycolytic genes after aortic constriction. Accordingly, we hypothesize that Myc regulates substrate preferences for the citric acid cycle during pressure overload hypertrophy from transverse aortic constriction (TAC) and that these metabolic changes impact cardiac function and growth. To test this hypothesis, we subjected FVB mice with cardiac specific, inducible Myc inactivation (MycKO-TAC) and non-transgenic littermates (Cont-TAC) to transverse aortic constriction (n=7/group). A separate group underwent sham surgery (Sham, n=5). After two weeks, function was measured in isolated working hearts along with substrate fractional contributions to the citric acid cycle by using perfusate with 13C labeled mixed fatty acids, lactate, ketones and unlabeled glucose and insulin. Western blots were used to evaluate metabolic enzymes. Cardiac function was similar between groups after TAC although +dP/dT and -dP/dT trended towards improvement in MycKO-TAC versus Cont-TAC. Compared to Sham, Cont-TAC had increased free fatty acid fractional contribution with a concurrent decrease in unlabeled (presumably glucose) contribution. Myc inactivation (MycKO-TAC) inhibited these metabolic changes. Hypertrophy in general increased protein levels of PKM2; however this change was not linked to Myc status. Protein post-translation modification by O-GlcNAc was significantly greater in Cont-TAC versus both Sham and MycKO-TAC. In conclusion, Myc regulates substrate utilization during early pressure overload hypertrophy. Our results show that the metabolic switch during hypertrophy is not necessary to maintain cardiac function, but it may be important mechanism to promote cardiomyocyte growth. Myc also regulates protein O-GlcNAcylation during hypertrophy.
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is frequently used in infants with postoperative cardiopulmonary failure. ECMO also suppresses circulating triiodothyronine (T3) levels and modifies myocardial metabolism. We assessed the hypothesis that T3 supplementation reverses ECMO induced metabolic abnormalities in the immature heart. Twenty-two male Yorkshire pigs (age 25-38 days) with ECMO were received [2-13C]lactate, [2,4,6,8-13C]octanoate (medium chain fatty acid) and [U-13C]long-chain fatty acids as metabolic tracers either systemically (totally physiological intracoronary concentration) or directly into the coronary artery (high substrate concentration) for the last 60 minutes of each protocol. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis of left ventricular tissue determined the fractional contribution (Fc) of these substrates to the citric acid cycle (CAC). Fifty percent of the pigs in each group received intravenous T3 supplement (bolus at 0.6 μg/kg and then continuous infusion at 0.2 μg/kg/hour) during ECMO. Under both substrate loading conditions T3 significantly increased lactate-Fc with a marginal increase in octanoate-Fc. Both T3 and high substrate provision increased myocardial energy status indexed by [Phosphocreatine]/[ATP]. In conclusion, T3 supplementation promoted lactate metabolism to the CAC during ECMO suggesting that T3 releases inhibition of pyruvate dehydrogenase. Manipulation of substrate utilization by T3 may be used therapeutically during ECMO to improve resting energy state and facilitate weaning.
Environmental weathering is typically viewed as a macroscopic phenomenon that is based on a number of competing atomic- or molecular-level processes. One important process is the release of metal or metalloid elements into solution at the water-rock interface. To both explain and predict environmental weathering, the atomic-level “reactive sites” on the surfaces of minerals must be characterized and quantified. Whether these sites are atomic in nature, represented by a chemical bond, or comprise a more complex assemblage of covalently or ionically linked atoms or molecules, the kinetic rate of atomic release (dissolution) depends on the available reactive surface. For one important class of materials, clay minerals, their reactive surface areas are a challenge to quantify as it is well recognized that there are two distinct types of surfaces: edge sites and basal planes1-3. Clay dissolution rates continuously decrease over time as reactive edge sites are preferentially depleted4. Changes in reactive surface area and the difficulties in quantifying this elusive variable have often been cited as one key reason for the complexity in developing accurate rate equations3,5,6. In this work, we demonstrate a solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (SSNMR) method for counting the number of reactive surface sites on a defined quantity of a clay mineral. Using this SSNMR proxy7-9, changes in reactive surface area were monitored for a series of batch dissolution experiments of low-defect kaolinite KGa-1b at 21 ºC and pH 3 over the course of 80 days. While no changes (within error) were observed for specific surface area (as determined from BET gas isotherm data), the SSNMR proxy revealed decreases in the number of reactive surface sites per gram of kaolinite as a function of dissolution time. This observation can be tied to a concomitant decrease in the rates of release of Si and Al into solution. These results further highlight the need to account for changes in reactive surface area when developing and using dissolution rate models for clay minerals and other heterogeneous materials in the environment.
The degree of substitution of Si4+ by Al3+ in the oxygen-terminated tetrahedra (Al T-sites) of zeolites determines the concentration of ion-exchange and Brønsted acid sites. As the location of the tetrahedra and the associated subtle variations in bond angles influence the acid strength, quantitative information about Al T-sites in the framework is critical to rationalize catalytic properties and to design new catalysts. A quantitative analysis is reported that uses a combination of extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) analysis and 27Al MAS NMR spectroscopy supported by DFT-based molecular dynamics simulations. To discriminate individual Al atoms, sets of ab initio EXAFS spectra for various T-sites are generated from DFT-based molecular dynamics simulations allowing quantitative treatment of the EXAFS single- and multiple-photoelectron scattering processes out to 3-4 atom shells surrounding the Al absorption center. It is observed that identical zeolite types show dramatically different Al-distributions. A preference of Al for T-sites that are part of one or more 4-member rings in the framework over those T-sites that are part of only 5- and 6-member rings in the HBEA150 sample has been determined from a combination of these methods. This work was supported by the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences & Biosciences.
Ability to predict the solubility and stability of lithium polysulfide is vital in realizing longer lasting lithium-sulfur batteries. Herein we report a combined computational and experimental spectroscopic analysis to understand the dissolution mechanism of lithium polysulfide species in an aprotic solvent medium. Multinuclear NMR and sulfur K-edge X-ray absorption (XAS) analysis reveals that the lithium exchange between polysulfide species and solvent molecule constitutes the first step in the dissolution process. Lithium exchange leads to de-lithiated polysulfide ions which subsequently forms highly reactive free radicals through disproportion reaction. The energy required for the disproportion and possible dimer formation reactions of the polysulfide species are analyzed using density functional theory (DFT) calculations. We validate our calculations with variable temperature electron spin resonance (ESR) measurements. Based on these findings, we discuss approaches to optimize the electrolyte in order to control the polysulfide solubility. The energy required for the disproportion and possible dimer formation reactions of the polysulfide species are analyzed using density functional theory (DFT) calculations. We validate our calculations with variable temperature electron spin resonance (ESR) measurements. Based on these findings, we discuss approaches to optimize the electrolyte in order to control the polysulfide solubility.