Simulations of the Quartz(10(1)over-bar1)/Water Interface: A Comparison of Classical Force Fields, Ab Initio Molecular Dynamics, and X-ray Reflectivity Experiments

AA Skelton and P Fenter and JD Kubicki and DJ Wesolowski and PT Cummings, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 115, 2076-2088 (2011).

DOI: 10.1021/jp109446d

Classical molecular dynamics (CMD) simulations of the (10 (1) over bar1) surface of quartz interacting with bulk liquid water are performed using three different classical force fields, Lopes et al., ClayFF, and CHARMM water contact angle (CWCA), and compared to ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) and X-ray reflectivity (XR) results. The axial densities of the water and surface atoms normal to the surface are calculated and compared to previous XR experiments. Favorable agreement is shown for all the force fields with respect to the position of the water atoms. Analyses such as the radial distribution functions between water and hydroxyl atoms and the average cosine of the angle between the water dipole vector and the normal of the surface are also calculated for each force field. Significant differences are found between the different force fields from such analyses, indicating differing descriptions of the structured water in the near vicinity of the surface. AIMD simulations are also performed to obtain the water and hydroxyl structure for comparison among the predictions of the three classical force fields to better understand which force field is most accurate. It is shown that ClayFF exhibits the best agreement with the AIMD simulations for water hydroxyl radial distribution functions, suggesting that ClayFF treats the hydrogen bonding more accurately.

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