Density functional theory analysis of selective adsorption of AsH3 on transition metal-doped graphene

  • Yuan Li
  • Xin Sun
  • Lingling Zhou
  • Ping NingEmail author
  • Lihong TangEmail author
Original Paper


The removal of AsH3 from synthesis gas is crucial to prevent methanol synthesis catalyst from poisoning. In this work, Ti-, Mn-, Fe-, Co-, Ni-, Cu-, and Ag-doped graphene were proposed and their adsorption capabilities for AsH3 and CO were investigated by DFT method. The optimized structures, adsorption energies, electron transfers, electron density difference, and density of states were thoroughly discussed. It was found that pristine graphene had a slight interaction with AsH3 or CO, while doping Ti, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, and Ag could greatly facilitate the AsH3 or CO adsorption with the adsorption energies of − 0.95 to − 1.45 eV (AsH3) and − 1.00 to 2.02 eV (CO). The partial density of states (PDOS) results showed that hybridizations between AsH3 orbitals, CO orbitals, and transition metals orbitals indicate that there were chemical interactions between them. The charge transfer and density of states (DOS) plots showed that AsH3 and CO have the same adsorption modes on transition metals-doped graphene. Among seven transition metals-doped graphene, Ni-doped graphene had the best selectivity for AsH3 but not for CO due to its larger adsorption energy discrepancy between AsH3 and CO than that of other transition metals-doped graphene, suggesting that Ni-doped graphene is a good candidate adsorbent for AsH3 removal in CO gas stream.

Graphical abstract

Seven transition metal (Ti, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Ag)-doped graphenes were investigated for AsH3 and CO adsorption by DFT method. Their most stable structure, adsorption energy, and electronic characters were thoroughly studied. The results showed that Ni-doped graphene was a good candidate for selective AsH3 adsorption.


AsH3 adsorption DFT theory Transition metal doping Graphene Selectivity 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51708266 and 21367016).

Supplementary material

894_2019_3991_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.9 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 2923 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Environmental Science and EngineeringKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina
  2. 2.School of Chemical Science and TechnologyYunnan UniversityKunmingChina

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