Developing a Descriptor-Based Approach for CO and NO Adsorption Strength to Transition Metal Sites in Zeolites

Florian Göltl, Philipp Müller, Pajean Uchupalanun, Philippe Sautet, Ive Hermans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The discovery of new materials tailored for a given application typically requires the screening of a large number of compounds, and this process can be significantly accelerated by computational analysis. In such an approach the performance of a compound is correlated to a materials property, a so-called descriptor. Here we develop a descriptor-based approach for the adsorption of CO and NO to Cu, Ni, Co, and Fe sites in zeolites. We start out by discussing a possible design strategy for zeolite catalysts, define the studied test set of sites in the zeolites SSZ-13 and mordenite, and define a set of appropriate descriptors. In a subsequent step we use these descriptors in single-parameter, two-parameter, and multiparameter regression analysis and finally use a machine-learning genetic algorithm to reduce the number of variables. We find that one or two descriptors are not sufficient to accurately capture the interactions between molecules and metal centers in zeolites, and indeed a multiparameter approach is necessary. Even though many of the descriptors are directly correlated, we identify the position of the s orbital and the number of valence electrons of the active site as well as the HOMO-LUMO gap of the adsorbate as most important descriptors. Furthermore, the reconstruction of the active sites upon adsorption plays a crucial role, and when it is explicitly included in the analysis, correlations improve significantly. In the future we expect that the fundamental methodology developed here will be adapted and transferred to selected problems in adsorption and catalysis and will assist the rational design of materials for the given application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6434-6444
Number of pages11
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 8 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry


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