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    ABSTRACT: The diffusion of n-alkanes ranging from length n-C8 to n-C20 in the zeolite silicalite is studied using classical molecular dynamics simulations. Different simulations were performed using a united-atom hydrocarbon model with a rigid zeolite framework, an all-atom hydrocarbon model with a rigid zeolite framework, and an all-atom hydrocarbon model with a flexible zeolite framework, all at 300 K. The latter two models have never previously been used to simulate longer alkanes in silicalite. Diffusion coefficients measured using a rigid zeolite framework exhibited a periodic dependence on chain length in the [010] direction in line with the previously observed phenomenon of resonant diffusion, regardless of the hydrocarbon model used. Explanations are considered in terms of the location of low energy traps within the silicalite structure, presenting a diffusion barrier. A monotonic dependence on diffusivity with chain length was observed however, on using an all-atom hydrocarbon model and a flexible framework, which was attributed to the occurrence of pore 'breathing' assisting diffusion. It was also noted that the calculated diffusion coefficients were up to an order of magnitude lower, and experimental diffusion coefficients are in much closer agreement when the latter model is used.
    Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 10/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: We studied the low-frequency Raman and X-ray scattering behavior of amorphous silicon (a-Si) at high pressure throughout the range where the density-driven polyamorphic transformation between the low-density amorphous (LDA) semiconductor and a novel metallic high-density amorphous (HDA) polyamorph occurs. The experimental data were analyzed with the aid of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations using the Stillinger-Weber potential. The heat capacity of a-Si obtained from the low pressure Raman data exhibits non Debye-like behavior, but the effect is small, and our data support the conclusion that no boson peak is present. The high-pressure Raman data show the presence of a distinct low frequency band for the HDA polyamorph in agreement with ab initio MD simulations. Spatially resolved synchrotron X-ray diffraction was used to study the high pressure behavior of the a-Si sample throughout the LDA-HDA transition range without interference by crystallization events. The X-ray data were analyzed using an iterative refinement strategy to extract real-space structural information. The appearance of the first diffraction peak (FDP) in the scattering function S(Q) is discussed in terms of the void structure determined from Voronoi analysis of the MD simulation data.
    The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 08/2011; 115(48):14246-55.
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    ABSTRACT: We review recent developments and applications of computational modelling techniques in the field of materials for energy technologies including hydrogen production and storage, energy storage and conversion, and light absorption and emission. In addition, we present new work on an Sn2TiO4 photocatalyst containing an Sn(II) lone pair, new interatomic potential models for SrTiO3 and GaN, an exploration of defects in the kesterite/stannite-structured solar cell absorber Cu2ZnSnS4, and report details of the incorporation of hydrogen into Ag2O and Cu2O. Special attention is paid to the modelling of nanostructured systems, including ceria (CeO2, mixed Ce(x)O(y) and Ce2O3) and group 13 sesquioxides. We consider applications based on both interatomic potential and electronic structure methodologies; and we illustrate the increasingly quantitative and predictive nature of modelling in this field.
    Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences 07/2010; 368(1923):3379-456.
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    ABSTRACT: We examine oxygen incorporation in alpha-Al2O3 using electronic structure techniques. We demonstrate that the ground-state configuration is a peroxide split interstitial, which is more than 2eV lower in energy than the oxide closed-shell interstitial species in alumina, which proves to be only a transition state. Our results have general implications for the nature of oxygen interstitials in close-packed oxides.
    Chemical Physics Letters 01/2010; 492(1):44-48.
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    ABSTRACT: There is growing interest in determining the effects of high pressure on biological functions. Studies of brain processes under hyperbaric conditions can give a unique insight into phenomena such as nitrogen narcosis, inert gas anaesthesia, and pressure reversal of the effects of anaesthetic and narcotic agents. Such research may shed light on the action of anaesthetics, which remains poorly understood, and on the nature of consciousness itself. Various studies have established the behavioural response of organisms to hyperbaric conditions, in the presence or absence of anaesthetic agents. At the molecular level, X-ray crystallography has been used to investigate the incorporation of species like Xe in hydrophobic pockets within model ion channels that may account for pressure effects on neuronal transmission. New magnetic resonance imaging techniques are providing tomographic three-dimensional images that detail brain structure and function, and that can be correlated with behavioural studies and psychological test results. Such whole organ techniques are linked to the molecular scale via voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) imaging studies on brain slices that provide time-resolved images of the dynamic formation and interconnection of inter-neuronal complexes. The VSD experiments are readily adapted to in situ studies under high pressure conditions. In this tutorial review we review the current state of knowledge of hyperbaric effects on brain processes: anaesthesia and narcosis, recent studies at the molecular level via protein crystallography at high pressure in a Xe atmosphere, and we also present some preliminary results of VSD imaging of brain slices under hyperbaric conditions.
    Chemical Society Reviews 11/2006; 35(10):890-8.
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    ABSTRACT: Amorphous and crystalline forms of silicon are well-known, tetrahedrally coordinated semiconductors. High-pressure studies have revealed extensive polymorphism among various metallic crystal structures containing atoms in six-, eight- and 12-fold coordination. Melting silicon at ambient or high pressure results in a conducting liquid, in which the average coordination is greater than four (ref. 3). This liquid cannot normally be quenched to a glass, because of rapid crystallization to the diamond-structured semiconductor. Solid amorphous silicon is obtained by synthesis routes such as chemical or physical vapour deposition that result in a tetrahedrally bonded semiconducting state. It has long been speculated that the amorphous solid and the liquid could represent two polymorphic forms of the amorphous state that are linked by density- or entropy-driven transformations. Such polyamorphic transitions are recognized to occur among several different types of liquid and glassy systems. Here we present experimental evidence for the occurrence of a density-driven polyamorphic transition between semiconducting and metallic forms of solid amorphous silicon. The experiments are combined with molecular dynamics simulations that map the behaviour of the amorphous solid on to that of the liquid state.
    Nature Material 10/2005; 4(9):680-4.
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    ABSTRACT: New polarized infrared reflectance spectra of pure synthetic forsterite and natural Fo86-olivine have been recorded from 5000 to 100cm-1. Out of the 35 expected infrared active modes, 33 have been observed (8 B1u, 12 B2u, 13 B3u). The observed frequency shift from pure forsterite to Fo86-olivine is consistent with the higher mass of the substituted iron. The substitution of only 14% of iron also reduces the overal far-infrared reflectivity of olivine as compared to pure forsterite. Several discrepancies associated with previous studies of forsterite are explained by our investigation. We suggest that some of the previous investigations were complicated by polarization mixing.
    Physics and Chemistry of Minerals 01/1991; 18(1):19-25.
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    ABSTRACT: We have developed a high pressure optical cell to study large-scale transient neuronal coalitions--"assemblies" using voltage sensitive dye (VSD) fluorescence combined with fast CCD imaging of brain slices under hyperbaric conditions. The new cell has been tested at pressures up to P = 150-200 atm, corresponding to the range over which effects such as "pressure-reversal" of anaesthesia have been described previously. Brain slices were maintained in a flow of artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF) and hyperbaric conditions were controlled to within +/- 0.2 atm using a back-pressure regulator placed in the pumping system. Preliminary VSD imaging experiments were carried out on rat hippocampal slices at pressures up to P approximately 50 atm. An electrode placed in the CA3 region was used to stimulate a signal along the Schaffer collateral towards CA1. First results indicate that good VSD data can be obtained that can be analysed to provide a new view on how hydrostatic pressurisation affects the dynamic propagation of neuronal assemblies.
    Undersea & hyperbaric medicine: journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc 35(1):35-40.
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