Wetting transparency of graphene in water

J Driskill and D Vanzo and D Bratko and A Luzar, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 141, 18C517 (2014).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4895541

Measurements of contact angle on graphene sheets show a notable dependence on the nature of the underlying substrate, a phenomenon termed wetting transparency. Our molecular modeling studies reveal analogous transparency in case of submerged graphene fragments in water. A combined effect of attractive dispersion forces, angle correlations between aqueous dipoles, and repulsion due to the hydrogen-bond-induced orientation bias in polarized hydration layers acting across graphene sheet, enhances apparent adhesion of water to graphene. We show wetting free energy of a fully wetted graphene platelet to be about 8 mNm(-1) lower than for graphene wetted only on one side, which gives close to 10 degrees reduction in contact angle. This difference has potential implications for predictions of water absorption vs. desorption, phase behavior of water in aqueous nanoconfinements, solvent-induced interactions among graphitic nanoparticle and concomitant stability in aqueous dispersions, and can influence permeability of porous materials such as carbon nanotubes by water and aqueous solutions. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.

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