Self-Rolling of an Aluminosilicate Sheet into a Single Walled Imogolite Nanotube: The Role of the Hydroxyl Arrangement

RI Gonzalez and R Ramirez and J Rogan and JA Valdivia and F Munoz and F Valencia and M Ramirez and M Kiwi, INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF COMPUTATIONAL METHODS IN SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING 2015 (ICCMSE 2015), 1702, 050004 (2015).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4938786

Imogolite is an inorganic nanotube, that forms naturally in weathered volcanic ashes, and it can be synthesized in nearly monodisperse diameters. However, long after its successful synthesis, the details of the way it is achieved are not fully understood. Here we elaborate on a model of its synthesis, which starts with a planar aluminosilicate sheet that is allowed to evolve freely, by means of classical molecular dynamics, until it achieves its minimum energy configuration. The minimal structures that the system thus adopts are tubular, scrolled, and more complex conformations, depending mainly on temperature as a driving force. Here we focus on the effect that the arrangement of the hydroxyl groups in the inner wall of the nanotube have on the minimal nanotubular configurations that we obtain are monodispersed in diameter, and quite similar to both from the those of weathered natural volcanic ashes, and to the ones that are synthesized in the laboratory. In this contribution we expand on the atomic mechanisms behind those behaviors.

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