Molecular dynamics study of the interface between water and 2-nitrophenyl octyl ether

Miguel Jorge, M. Natalia D. S. Cordeiro

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Abstract

We present results of molecular dynamics simulations of the interface between water and 2-nitrophenyl octyl ether (NPOE). This system is analyzed in detail using a procedure to calculate intrinsic profiles of several important properties (density, radial distribution functions, hydrogen bonds, molecular orientation, self-diffusion). The interface was found to be molecularly sharp but corrugated by thermal fluctuations. Using a method based on capillary wave theory, we have estimated the interfacial tension and obtained good agreement with values calculated from the virial route. The results were compared to simulations of the water/nitrobenzene interface. The presence of an alkyl chain in NPOE introduces an added degree of hydrophobicity, which causes an increase in the interfacial tension. Furthermore, interfacial NPOE molecules are less organized than nitrobenzene and show a distinct dynamic response. These results shed light on the observed differences between these two organic liquids in electrochemical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2415-2429
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Volume112
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2008

Keywords

  • organic liquids
  • electrochemical studies
  • hydrophobicity
  • nitrobenzene

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