Dispersion-Corrected Density Functional Theory and Classical Force Field Calculations of Water Loading on a Pyrophyllite(001) Surface

GZ Zhang and WA Al-Saidi and EM Myshakin and KD Jordan, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 116, 17134-17141 (2012).

DOI: 10.1021/jp305801d

Water adsorption on the (001) surface of pyrophyllite Al(OH)(Si2O5) was investigated using density functional theory (DFT) with dispersion corrections and force field calculations. The DFT calculations show that a water molecule can bind either to one or to two basal oxygen atoms of the surface, with adsorption energies varying from -0.10 to -0.19 eV depending on the binding configuration and binding site. Because the water-water interactions are stronger than the water-surface interactions, the energetically preferred structures with two or more molecules on the surface are clusters reminiscent of their gas-phase counterparts. The trend in water-surface binding energies with the number of water molecules obtained from force field calculations qualitatively agrees with that predicted by the dispersion-corrected DFT calculations. However, the force field calculations give a low-energy structural motif with a water molecule coordinated to a hydroxyl group associated with the octahedral layer of the pyrophyllite surface. This binding motif is found to be unstable in the DFT calculations.

Return to Publications page