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Chemosphere. 2013 Jul;92(4):429-34. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.01.039. Epub 2013 Feb 12.

Molecular dynamics simulations on the interactions of low molecular weight natural organic acids with C60.

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State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Vegetation Restoration, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, PR China.


As an important part of dissolved organic matter (DOM), low molecular weight organic acids (LOAs) may play a key role in the process for DOM stabilizing carbon nanomaterials (e.g. C60) suspensions in aquatic environment. In addition, both LOAs and C60 have been detected in the troposphere and therefore have a chance to interact with each other in the gaseous phase. However, the mechanism for LOAs-C60 interactions and their environmental implications need further investigations. In this study, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation was employed to investigate the interactions between both neutral and ionic LOAs with C60 in vacuum and water. The results showed that the adsorptions of all LOAs on C60 in energy are favorable, and the aromatic acids have stronger interactions with C60 than the aliphatic acids in vacuum and water. The interaction energies (Eint) of the LOA anions with C60 were weaker than those of their corresponding neutral LOA molecules. The models were also developed to predict and interpret Eint based on the results from MD simulations. Dispersion, induction and hydrophobic interactions were found to be the dominating factor in Eint. These findings indicate that cost-efficient MD simulation can be employed as an important tool to predict the adsorption behavior of LOAs on carbon nanomaterials.

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