Molecular simulation of water confined in nanoporous silica

P. A. Bonnaud, B. Coasne, R. J.M. Pellenq

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138 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports on a molecular simulation study of the thermodynamics, structure and dynamics of water confined at ambient temperature in hydroxylated silica nanopores of a width H = 10 and 20 Å . The adsorption isotherms for water in these nanopores resemble those observed for experimental samples; the adsorbed amount increases continuously in the multilayer adsorption regime until a jump occurs due to capillary condensation of the fluid within the pore. Strong layering of water in the vicinity of the silica surfaces is observed as marked density oscillations are observed up to 8 ̊A from the surface in the density profiles for confined water. Our results indicate that water molecules within the first adsorbed layer tend to adopt a H-down orientation with respect to the silica substrate. For all pore sizes and adsorbed amounts, the self-diffusivity of confined water is lower than the bulk, due to the hydrophilic interaction between the water molecules and the hydroxylated silica surface. Our results also suggest that the self-diffusivity of confined water is sensitive to the adsorbed amount.

Original languageEnglish
Article number284110
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number28
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jul 21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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