Water around fullerene shape amphiphiles: A molecular dynamics simulation study of hydrophobic hydration

SR Varanasi and OA Guskova and A John and JU Sommer, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 142, 224308 (2015).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4922322

Fullerene C-60 sub-colloidal particle with diameter similar to 1 nm represents a boundary case between small and large hydrophobic solutes on the length scale of hydrophobic hydration. In the present paper, a molecular dynamics simulation is performed to investigate this complex phenomenon for bare C-60 fullerene and its amphiphilic/charged derivatives, so called shape amphiphiles. Since most of the unique properties of water originate from the pattern of hydrogen bond network and its dynamics, spatial, and orientational aspects of water in solvation shells around the solute surface having hydrophilic and hydrophobic regions are analyzed. Dynamical properties such as translational-rotational mobility, reorientational correlation and occupation time correlation functions of water molecules, and diffusion coefficients are also calculated. Slower dynamics of solvent molecules- water retardation-in the vicinity of the solutes is observed. Both the topological properties of hydrogen bond pattern and the "dangling"-OH groups that represent surface defects in water network are monitored. The fraction of such defect structures is increased near the hydrophobic cap of fullerenes. Some "dry" regions of C-60 are observed which can be considered as signatures of surface dewetting. In an effort to provide molecular level insight into the thermodynamics of hydration, the free energy of solvation is determined for a family of fullerene particles using thermodynamic integration technique. (C) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.

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