Anomalous transport in molecularly confined spaces

Bhatia, S. K. ; Nicholson, D. (2007) Anomalous transport in molecularly confined spaces Journal of Chemical Physics, 127 (12). pp. 124701-124711. ISSN 0021-9606

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We develop a novel theory to predict the density dependence of the diffusivity of simple fluids in a molecularly sized nanopore with diffusely reflecting walls, incorporating nearest neighbor intermolecular interactions within the framework of the recent oscillator model of low density transport arising from this laboratory. It is shown that when the pore width is about two molecular diameters, at sufficiently high densities these interactions lead to a repulsive inner core, as a result of which the diffusing molecules undergo more frequent reflections at the wall. This leads to a reduction in diffusivity with increase in density, which is consistent with molecular dynamics simulation results, and contrasts with the behavior in larger pores where the transport coefficient has previously been shown to increase with increase in density due to viscouslike intermolecular interactions. At low densities the behavior is opposite, with the inner core becoming more attractive with increase in density, which can lead to an increase in diffusivity. The theory consistently explains molecular dynamics simulation results when the inhomogeneous pair distribution function of moving particles in the pore is axially periodic, suggesting concerted motion of neighboring molecules. It is also shown that a potential of mean force concept is inadequate for describing the influence of intermolecular interactions on transport.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to American Institute of Physics.
Keywords:Molecular Dynamics Method; Nanostructured Materials; Surface Diffusion
ID Code:80706
Deposited On:01 Feb 2012 11:59
Last Modified:01 Feb 2012 11:59

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