MAPEX Research Highlights

Computational high-pressure chemistry: Ab initio simulations of atoms, molecules, and extended materials in the gigapascal regime

Felix Zeller; Chieh-Min Hsieh; Wilke Dononelli; Tim Neudecker

Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Computational Molecular Science 14  (2024): e1708


The field of liquid-phase and solid-state high-pressure chemistry has exploded since the advent of the diamond anvil cell, an experimental technique that allows the application of pressures up to several hundred gigapascals. To complement high-pressure experiments, a large number of computational tools have been developed. These techniques enable the simulation of chemical systems, their sizes ranging from single atoms to infinitely large crystals, under high pressure, and the calculation of the resulting structural, electronic, and spectroscopic changes. At the most fundamental level, computational methods using carefully tailored wall potentials allow the analytical calculation of energies and electronic properties of compressed atoms. Molecules and molecular clusters can be compressed either via mechanochemical approaches or via more sophisticated computational protocols using implicit or explicit solvation approaches, typically in combination with density functional theory, thus allowing the simulation of pressure-induced chemical reactions. Crystals and other periodic systems can also be routinely simulated under pressure, both statically and dynamically, to predict the changes of crystallographic data under pressure and high-pressure crystal structure transitions. In this review, the theoretical foundations of the available computational tools for simulating high-pressure chemistry are introduced and example applications demonstrating the strengths and weaknesses of each approach are discussed. This article is categorized under: Structure and Mechanism > Computational Materials Science Electronic Structure Theory > Ab Initio Electronic Structure Methods Software > Simulation Methods.

 © 2024 The Authors 

Computational high-pressure chemistry
Aktualisiert von: MAPEX