Journal of Physical Chemistry B, Vol.110, No.51, 25761-25768, 2006
Molecular dynamics simulation study of the structural characteristics of water molecules confined in functionalized carbon nanotubes
Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed to study the structural properties of water molecules confined in functionalized carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Four CNTs, two armchair-type (6, 6), (7, 7) and two zigzag-type (10, 0), (12, 0) CNTs, representing different helicities and different diameters, were chosen and functionalized at their open ends by the hydrophilic -COOH and the hydrophobic -CH3 groups. The structural properties of water molecules inside the functionalized CNTs, including the orientation distributions of dipole moment and O-H bonds, the length of the single-file water chain, and the average number of hydrogen bonds, were analyzed during a process of simulations. MD simulation results in this work showed that the -CH3 functional groups exert little special effects on the structural properties of water molecules. It is mainly due to the relatively small size of the -CH3 group and its hydrophobic nature, which is consistent with hydrophobic CNTs. For CNTs functionalized by -COOH groups, the configurations of -COOH groups, incurvature or excurvature, determine whether water molecules can enter the CNTs. The incurvature or excurvature configurations of -COOH groups are the results of synergy effects of the CNTs' helicity and diameter and control the flow direction of water molecules in CNTs.