Structure and stability of weakly chemisorbed ethene adsorbed on low-index Cu surfaces: performance of density functionals with van der Waals interactions
Journal article, 2012
We have investigated the performance of popular density functionals that include van der Waals interactions for the experimentally well-characterized problem of ethene (C2H4) adsorbed on the low-index surfaces of copper. This set of functionals does not only include three van der Waals density functionals-vdwDF-PBE, vdwDF-revPBE and optB86b-vdwDF-and two dispersion-corrected functionals-Grimme and TS-but also local and semi-local functionals such as LDA and PBE. The adsorption system of ethene on copper was chosen because it is a weakly chemisorbed system for which the vdW interactions are expected to give a significant contribution to the adsorption energy. Overall the density functionals that include vdW interactions increased substantially the adsorption energies compared to the PBE density functional but predicted the same adsorption sites and very similar C-C bonding distances except for two of the van der Waals functionals. The top adsorption site was predicted almost exclusively for all functionals on the (110), (100) and (111) surfaces, which is in agreement with experiment for the (110) surface but not for the (100) surface. On the (100) surface, all functionals except two van der Waals density functionals singled out the observed cross-hollow site from the calculated C-C bonding distances and adsorption heights. On the top sites on the (110) surface and the cross-hollow site on the Cu(100) surface, the ethene molecule was found to form a weak chemisorption bond. On the (111) surface, all functionals gave a C-C bonding distance and an adsorption height more typical for physisorption, in agreement with experiments.
generalized gradient approximation