Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study of Adsorption of Bioinspired Oligomers on Alumina Surfaces

IC Yeh and JL Lenhart and JA Orlicki and BC Rinderspacher, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B, 123, 7024-7035 (2019).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.9b04473

The adsorption of small oligomers on a model metal oxide surface was studied with atomistically detailed molecular dynamics simulations. The oligomers consisted of two different repeat units: a maleimide, which contains a catechol functional group as in the dopamine residue found in marine adhesive proteins, and a methyl acrylate. A hydroxylated alumina surface was used as the model metal oxide surface. Adsorption interactions were investigated in aqueous as well as anhydrous conditions. In anhydrous conditions, the model oligomers displayed strong adsorption interactions with the surface. However, in aqueous conditions, the adsorption interactions were significantly weakened because of the competition with the water molecules for adsorption sites near the surface. Catechol functional groups in the model oligomers were found to play an important role in adsorption interactions with the alumina surface via hydrogen bonds. However, diverse adsorption properties were observed depending on compositions and sequences of two different repeat units and self-aggregations, indicating that the hydrogen bonding capability of catechol groups is not the sole factor determining adsorption properties.

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