Linear-scaling density functional theory (DFT) simulations of point, Frenkel and Schottky defects in CeO2

Nabeel Anwar, Robert M. Harker, Mark T. Storr, Marco Molinari, Chris Kriton Skylaris

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3 Citations (Scopus)


CeO2 (ceria) is a material of significant industrial and technological importance, used in solid oxide fuel cells and catalysis. Here, we explore the usage of linear-scaling density functional theory as implemented in the ONETEP code, which allows to use larger simulation cells. By using DFT+U calculations we revise the defect chemistry of ceria, including point defects, Frenkel and Schottky defects. We found that the ground state of an oxygen vacancy is associated to two neighbouring reduced cerium sites. A cerium vacancy is the least favourable point defect, where holes localise on neighbouring oxygen sites. It is more favourable to displace an oxygen interstitial defect away from the octahedral interstitial site, with the formation of a stable peroxide species. Our simulations show that a cerium interstitial is best accommodated in the octahedral interstitial site, as this minimises the distortion of the lattice. Placing a vacancy and an interstitial defect at a separation of 5.18 Å for the OF¡110¿ and 4.77 Å for the CeF¡111¿, stable Frenkel defects can be formed. We also studied the effect of different supercell size on the energetic ordering of Schottky defects, where the S¡111¿ is more favourable than the S¡110¿ for a given simulation cells containing 324 or more atoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112396
Number of pages10
JournalComputational Materials Science
Early online date17 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2023

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