Thermodynamic Driving Forces for Dye Molecule Position and Orientation in Nanoconfined Solvents

JA Harvey and WH Thompson, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B, 119, 9150-9159 (2015).

DOI: 10.1021/jp509051n

The results of replica exchange molecular dynamics simulations of a coumarin 153 (C153) dye molecule dissolved in ethanol confined within a 2.4 nm hydrophilic amorphous silica pore are presented. The C153 dye position and orientation distributions provide insight into time- dependent fluorescence measurements in nanoconfined solvents as well as general features of chemistry in mesoporous materials. In addition to the distributions themselves, the free energy, internal energy, and entropic contributions have been calculated to explore the factors determining the distributions. The most likely location of C153 is found to be near the pore surface, but two possible hydrogen-bonding structures lead to differing orientations. Internal energy and entropy are found to be competing forces within the pore, with entropy playing a significant role with unexpected consequences. These results represent a crucial step in determining how the nanoconfining framework can affect measurements of solvation dynamics.

Return to Publications page