Solid-liquid work of adhesion of coarse-grained models of n-hexane on graphene layers derived from the conditional reversible work method

VR Ardham and G Deichmann and NFA van der Vegt and F Leroy, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 143, 243135 (2015).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4936253

We address the question of how reducing the number of degrees of freedom modifies the interfacial thermodynamic properties of heterogeneous solid-liquid systems. We consider the example of n-hexane interacting with multi-layer graphene which we model both with fully atomistic and coarse-grained (CG) models. The CG models are obtained by means of the conditional reversible work (CRW) method. The interfacial thermodynamics of these models is characterized by the solid-liquid work of adhesion W-SL calculated by means of the dry-surface methodology through molecular dynamics simulations. We find that the CRW potentials lead to values of W-SL that are larger than the atomistic ones. Clear understanding of the relationship between the structure of n-hexane in the vicinity of the surface and W-SL is elucidated through a detailed study of the energy and entropy components of W-SL. We highlight the crucial role played by the solid-liquid energy fluctuations. Our approach suggests that CG potentials should be designed in such a way that they preserve the range of solid-liquid interaction energies, but also their fluctuations in order to preserve the reference atomistic value of W-SL. Our study thus opens perspectives into deriving CG interaction potentials that preserve the thermodynamics of solid-liquid contacts and will find application in studies that intend to address materials driven by interfaces. (C) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.

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