DFT+U Study of the Electronic, Magnetic and Mechanical Properties of Co, CoO, and Co3O4

Abdelaziz Cadi-Essadek, Alberto Roldan, David Santos-Carballal, Phuti E. Ngoepe, Michael Claeys, Nora H. de Leeuw
2021 South African Journal of Chemistry  
Cobalt nanoparticles play an important role as a catalyst in the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. During the reaction process, cobalt nanoparticles can become oxidized leading to the formation of two phases: CoO rock-salt and Co3O4 cubic spinel. Experimentally, it is possible to evaluate the phase change and follow the catalyst degradation by measuring the magnetic moment, as each material presents a different magnetic structure. It is therefore important to develop a fundamental description, at the
more » ... tomic scale, of cobalt and its oxide phases which we have done here using density functional theory with the Dudarev approach to account for the on-site Coulomb interactions (DFT+U). We have explored different Ueff values, ranging from 0 to 5 eV, and found that Ueff = 3.0 eV describes most appropriately the mechanical properties, as well as the electronic and magnetic structures of Co, CoO and Co3O4. We have considered a ferromagnetic ordering for the metallic phase and the antiferromagnetic structure for the oxide phases. Our results support the interpretation of the catalytic performance of metallic cobalt as it transforms into its oxidized phases under experimental conditions. Keywords: Materials chemistry, cobalt oxides, cobalt metal, spinel, density functional theory, on-site Coulomb correction.
doi:10.17159/0379-4350/2021/v74a3 fatcat:t7mdfrlx3zgblmvy4dtdxpii7u