Predicting polymeric crystal structures by evolutionary algorithms

Qiang Zhu, Vinit Sharma, Artem R. Oganov, Ramamurthy Ramprasad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The recently developed evolutionary algorithm USPEX proved to be a tool that enables accurate and reliable prediction of structures. Here we extend this method to predict the crystal structure of polymers by constrained evolutionary search, where each monomeric unit is treated as a building block with fixed connectivity. This greatly reduces the search space and allows the initial structure generation with different sequences and packings of these blocks. The new constrained evolutionary algorithm is successfully tested and validated on a diverse range of experimentally known polymers, namely, polyethylene, polyacetylene, poly(glycolic acid), poly(vinyl chloride), poly(oxymethylene), poly(phenylene oxide), and poly (p-phenylene sulfide). By fixing the orientation of polymeric chains, this method can be further extended to predict the structures of complex linear polymers, such as all polymorphs of poly(vinylidene fluoride), nylon-6 and cellulose. The excellent agreement between predicted crystal structures and experimentally known structures assures a major role of this approach in the efficient design of the future polymeric materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number154102
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume141
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes

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