Phase coexistence and dynamic properties of water in nanopores
The dynamical properties of a confined fluid depend strongly on the (spatially varying) density. Its knowledge is therefore an important prerequisite for molecular-dynamics (MD) simulations and the analysis of experimental data. In a mixed Gibbs ensemble Monte Carlo (GEMC)/MD simulation approach we first apply the GEMC method to find possible phase states of water in hydrophilic and hydrophobic nanopores. The obtained phase diagrams evidence that a two-phase state is the most probable state of a fluid in incompletely filled pores in a wide range of temperature and level of pore filling. Pronounced variations of the average and local densities are observed. Subsequently, we apply constant-volume MD simulations to obtain water diffusion coefficients and to study their spatial variation along the pore radius. In general, water diffusivity slightly decreases in a hydrophilic pore and noticeably increases in a hydrophobic pore (up to about 40% with respect to the bulk value). In the range of gradual density variations the local diffusivity essentially follows the inverse density and the water binding energy. The diffusivity in the quasi-two-dimensional water layers near the hydrophilic wall decreases by 10 to 20% with respect to the bulk value. The average diffusivity of water in incompletely filled pore is discussed on the basis of the water diffusivities in the coexisting phases.
KeywordsPore Radius Water Diffusivity Phase Coexistence Average Diffusivity Pore Filling
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