First Principles Studies of Carbon Based Molecular Materials

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: The aim of this thesis was to investigate carbon based molecular materials at first principles levels. Special attention has been paid to simulations of X-ray spectroscopies, including near edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS), X-ray photoelectron, and X-ray emission spectroscopy, which can provide detailed information about core, occupied and unoccupied molecular orbitals of the systems under investigation. Theoretical calculations have helped to assign fine spectral structures in high resolution NEXAFS spectra of five azabenzenes (pyridine, pyrazine, pyrimidine, pyridazine and s-triazine), and to identify different local chemical environments among them. With the help of NEXAFS, the characters of important chemical bonds that might be responsible for the unique magnetic properties of the tetracyanoethylene compound has been revealed. Calculations have demonstrated that X-ray spectroscopies are powerful tools for isomer identification and structure determination of fullerenes and endohedral metallofullerenes. A joint experimental and theoretical study on metallofullerene [email protected] has firmly determined its equilibrium structure, in which the gadolinium atom lies above the hexagon on the C2 axis. It is found that the gadolinium atom could oscillate around its equilibrium position and that its oscillation amplitude increases with increasing temperature.In this thesis, several new computational schemes for large-scale systems have been proposed. Parallel implementation of a central insertion scheme (CIS) has been realized, which allows to effectively calculate electronic structures of very large systems, up to 150,000 electrons, at hybrid density functional theory levels. In comparison with traditional computational methods, CIS provides results with the same high accuracy but requires only a fraction of computational time. One of its applications is to calculate electronic structures of nanodiamond clusters varying from 0.76 nm (29 carbons) to 7.3 nm (20,959 carbons) in diameter, which enabled to resolve the long-standing debate about the validity of the quantum confinement model for nanodiamonds. Electronic structures and X-ray spectroscopies of a series of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) with different diameters and lengths have been calculated, which have made it possible to interpret the existing experimental results.