Filled and empty states of carbon nanotubes in water: dependence on nanotube diameter, wall thickness and dispersion interactions

Rana, Malay ; Chandra, Amalendu (2007) Filled and empty states of carbon nanotubes in water: dependence on nanotube diameter, wall thickness and dispersion interactions Journal of Chemical Sciences, 119 (5). pp. 367-376. ISSN 0253-4134

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We have carried out a series of molecular dynamics simulations of water containing a narrow carbon nanotube as a solute to investigate the filling and emptying of the nanotube and also the modifications of the density and hydrogen bond distributions of water inside and also in the vicinity of the outer surfaces of the nanotube. Our primary goal is to look at the effects of varying nanotube diameter, wall thickness and also solute-solvent interactions on the solvent structure in the confined region also near the outer surfaces of the solute. The thickness of the walls is varied by considering single and multi-walled nanotubes and the interaction potential is varied by tuning the attractive strength of the 12-6 pair interaction potential between a carbon atom of the nanotubes and a water molecule. The calculations are done for many different values of the tuning parameter ranging from fully Lennard-Jones to pure repulsive pair interactions. It is found that both the solvation characteristics and hydrogen bond distributions can depend rather strongly on the strength of the attractive part of the solute-water interaction potential. The thickness of the nanotube wall, however, is found to have only minor effects on the density profiles, hydrogen bond network and the wetting characteristics. This indicates that the long range electrostatic interactions between water molecules inside and on the outer side of the nanotube do not make any significant contribution to the overall solvation structure of these hydrophobic solutes. The solvation characteristics are primarily determined by the balance between the loss of energy due to hydrogen bond network disruption, cavity repulsion potential and offset of the same by attractive component of the solute-water interactions. Our studies with different system sizes show that the essential features of wetting and dewetting characteristics of narrow nanotubes for different diameter and interaction potentials are also present in relatively smaller systems consisting of about five hundred molecules.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Indian Academy of Sciences.
Keywords:Hydrophobic Hydration; Hydrogen Bonds; Dispersion Interactions; Carbon Nanotubes
ID Code:6195
Deposited On:19 Oct 2010 11:27
Last Modified:16 May 2016 16:33

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