Liquid Adsorption of Organic Compounds on Hematite alpha-Fe2O3 Using ReaxFF

CL Chia and C Avendano and FR Siperstein and S Filip, LANGMUIR, 33, 11257-11263 (2017).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b02374

ReaxFF-based molecular dynamics simulations are used in this work to study the effect of the polarity of adsorbed molecules in the liquid phase on the structure and polarization of hematite (alpha-Fe2O3). We compared the adsorption of organic molecules with different polarities on a rigid hematite surface and on a flexible and polarizable surface. We show that the displacements of surface atoms and surface polarization, in a flexible hematite model are proportional to the adsorbed molecule's polarity. The, increase in electrostatic interactions resulting from charge transfer in the outermost solid atoms in a flexible hematite model results in better-defined adsorbed layers that are less ordered than those obtained assuming a rigid solid. These results suggest that care must be taken when parametrizing empirical transferable force fields because the calculated charges on a solid slab in vacuum may not be representative of a real system especially when the solid is in contact with a polar liquid.

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