Quantifying thermal disorder in metal-organic frameworks: Lattice dynamics and molecular dynamics simulations of hybrid formate perovskites

Katrine L. Svane, Aron Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Hybrid organic.inorganic materials are mechanically soft, leading to large thermoelastic effects which can affect properties such as electronic structure and ferroelectric ordering. Here we use a combination of ab initio lattice dynamics and molecular dynamics to study the finite temperature behavior of the hydrazinium and guanidinium formate perovskites, [NH2NH3][Zn(CHO2)3] and [C-(NH2)3][Zn(CHO2)3]. Thermal displacement parameters and ellipsoids computed from the phonons and from molecular dynamics trajectories are found to be in good agreement. The hydrazinium compound is ferroelectric at low temperatures, with a calculated spontaneous polarization of 2.6 μC cm-2, but the thermal movement of the cation leads to variations in the instantaneous polarization and eventually breakdown of the ferroelectric order. Contrary to this the guanidinium cation is found to be stationary at all temperatures; however, the movement of the cage atoms leads to variations in the electronic structure and a renormalization in the bandgap from 6.29 eV at 0 K to an average of 5.96 eV at 300 K. We conclude that accounting for temperature is necessary for quantitative modeling of the physical properties of metal-organic frameworks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-429
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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