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J Chem Phys. 2012 Jul 28;137(4):044709. doi: 10.1063/1.4737842.

Entropy of single-file water in (6,6) carbon nanotubes.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469-5706, USA.


We used molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the thermodynamics of filling of a (6,6) open carbon nanotube (diameter D = 0.806 nm) solvated in TIP3P water over a temperature range from 280 K to 320 K at atmospheric pressure. In simulations of tubes with slightly weakened carbon-water attractive interactions, we observed multiple filling and emptying events. From the water occupancy statistics, we directly obtained the free energy of filling, and from its temperature dependence the entropy of filling. We found a negative entropy of about -1.3 k(B) per molecule for filling the nanotube with a hydrogen-bonded single-file chain of water molecules. The entropy of filling is nearly independent of the strength of the attractive carbon-water interactions over the range studied. In contrast, the energy of transfer depends strongly on the carbon-water attraction strength. These results are in good agreement with entropies of about -0.5 k(B) per water molecule obtained from grand-canonical Monte Carlo calculations of water in quasi-infinite tubes in vacuum under periodic boundary conditions. Overall, for realistic carbon-water interactions we expect that at ambient conditions filling of a (6,6) carbon nanotube open to a water reservoir is driven by a favorable decrease in energy, and opposed by a small loss of water entropy.

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