Improved predictive tools for structural properties of metal-organic frameworks

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The accurate determination of structural parameters is necessary to understand the electronic and magnetic properties of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and is a first step toward accurate calculations of electronic structure and function for separations and catalysis. Theoretical structural determination of metal-organic frameworks is particularly challenging because they involve ionic, covalent, and noncovalent interactions, which must be treated in a balanced fashion. Here, we apply a diverse group of local exchange-correlation functionals (PBE, PBEsol, PBE-D2, PBE-D3, vdW-DF2, SOGGA, MN15-L, revM06-L, SCAN, and revTPSS) to a broad test set of MOFs to seek the most accurate functionals to study various structural aspects of porous solids, in particular to study lattice constants, unit cell volume, two types of pore size characteristics, bond lengths, bond angles, and torsional angles). The recently developed meta functionals revM06-L and SCAN, without adding any molecular mechanics terms, are able to predict more accurate structures than previously recommended functionals, both those without molecular mechanics terms (PBE, PBEsol, vdW-DF2, and revTPSS) and those with them (PBE-D2 and PBE-D3). To provide a broader test, these two functionals are also tested for lattice constants and band gaps of unary, binary, and ternary semiconductors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1552
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was supported as part of the Nanoporous Materials Genome Center by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences, under award DE-FG02-17ER16362.


  • Bond angles
  • Bond lengths
  • Density functional theory
  • Lattice constant
  • Metal-organic frameworks
  • Pore sizes
  • Structural properties

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