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J Phys Chem B. 2017 Apr 6;121(13):2852-2863. doi: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b00327. Epub 2017 Mar 24.

Phenolic Polymer Solvation in Water and Ethylene Glycol, II: Ab Initio Computations.

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Thermal Protection Materials Branch and ‡AMA, Inc., Thermal Protection Materials Branch, NASA Ames Research Center , Moffett Field, California 94035, United States.


Ab initio techniques are used to study the interaction of ethylene glycol and water with a phenolic polymer. The water bonds more strongly with the phenolic OH than with the ring. The phenolic OH groups can form hydrogen bonds between themselves. For more than one water molecule, there is a competition between water-water and water-phenolic interactions. Ethylene glycol shows the same effects as those of water, but the potential energy surface is further complicated by CH2-phenolic interactions, different conformers of ethylene glycol, and two OH groups on each molecule. Thus, the ethylene glycol-phenolic potential is more complicated than the water-phenolic potential. The results of the ab initio calculations are compared to those obtained using a force field. These calibration studies show that the water system is easier to describe than the ethylene glycol system. The calibration studies confirm the reliability of force fields used in our companion molecular dynamics study of a phenolic polymer in water and ethylene solutions.


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