Simulation of nanoporous carbons: a chemically constrained structure

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Year: 1999
Type of Publication: Article
  • M. Acharya, J. P. Mathews M. S. Strano
Journal: Philosophical Magazine B-Physics of Condensed Matter Statistical Mechanics Electronic Optical and Magnetic Properties Volume: 79
Number: 10 Pages: 1499-1518
Month: OCT 1999
PT: J; TC: 47; UT: WOS:000082940200002
Nanoporous carbons (NPCs) are useful in adsorptive separations and calalysis, owing to their ability to discriminate between molecules on the basis of size and shape. This property arises from their narrow pore size: distribution, which is typically centred at a size corresponding to 0.5 nm. Despite this level of nanoregularity, there is no long-range order within these materials. Structural coherence dissipates to extinction at distances longer than 1-1.2 nm. For this reason, these nanoporous materials are complex solids and offer an intriguing problem in structural simulation and modelling. We show: that modelling the spatial complexity of NPCs carl be overcome by their chemical simplicity. Recognizing that the structures are comprised of trigonal sp(2) carbon and imposing chemical and physical constraints on the possible outcomes of the simulation provide a means to surmounting the modelling problem presented by the intrinsic disorder. By this approach, models of the solid can be arrived at that match the density, hydrogen to carbon ratio and neutron diffraction patterns of actual NPCs guile well. Thus, by using chemical logic and experimentally grounded constraints, good three-dimensional structures for NPC can be obtained by simulation.