Exploring the Structural, Dynamic, and Functional Properties of Metal-Organic Frameworks through Molecular Modeling

Filip Formalik, Kaihang Shi, Faramarz Joodaki, Xijun Wang, Randall Q. Snurr*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This review spotlights the role of atomic-level modeling in research on metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), especially the key methodologies of density functional theory (DFT), Monte Carlo (MC) simulations, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The discussion focuses on how periodic and cluster-based DFT calculations can provide novel insights into MOF properties, with a focus on predicting structural transformations, understanding thermodynamic properties and catalysis, and providing information or properties that are fed into classical simulations such as force field parameters or partial charges. Classical simulation methods, highlighting force field selection, databases of MOFs for high-throughput screening, and the synergistic nature of MC and MD simulations, are described. By predicting equilibrium thermodynamic and dynamic properties, these methods offer a wide perspective on MOF behavior and mechanisms. Additionally, the incorporation of machine learning (ML) techniques into quantum and classical simulations is discussed. These methods can enhance accuracy, expedite simulation setup, reduce computational costs, as well as predict key parameters, optimize geometries, and estimate MOF stability. By charting the growth and promise of computational research in the MOF field, the aim is to provide insights and recommendations to facilitate the incorporation of computational modeling more broadly into MOF research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • density functional theory
  • machine learning
  • metal-organic frameworks
  • molecular dynamics simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrochemistry


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