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Title: Molecular Simulation Studies of Covalently and Ionically Grafted Nanoparticles
Authors: Hong, Bingbing
Advisors: Panagiotopoulos, Athanassios M.
Contributors: Chemical and Biological Engineering Department
Keywords: atomistic simulation
molecular dynamics
transport properties
Subjects: Chemical engineering
Materials Science
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Solvent-free covalently- or ionically-grafted nanoparticles (CGNs and IGNs) are a new class of organic-inorganic hybrid composite materials exhibiting fluid-like behaviors around room temperature. With similar structures to prior systems, e.g. nanocomposites, neutral or charged colloids, ionic liquids, etc, CGNs and IGNs inherit the functionality of inorganic nanopariticles, the facile processibility of polymers, as well as conductivity and nonvolatility from their constituent materials. In spite of the extensive prior experimental research having covered synthesis and measurements of thermal and dynamic properties, little progress in understanding of these new materials at the molecular level has been achieved, because of the lack of simulation work in this new area. Atomistic and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations have been performed in this thesis to investigate the thermodynamics, structure, and dynamics of these systems and to seek predictive methods predictable for their properties. Starting from poly(ethylene oxide) oligomers (PEO) melts, we established atomistic models based on united-atom representations of methylene. The Green-Kubo and Einstein-Helfand formulas were used to calculate the transport properties. The simulations generate densities, viscosities, diffusivities, in good agreement with experimental data. The chain-length dependence of the transport properties suggests that neither Rouse nor reptation models are applicable in the short-chain regime investigated. Coupled with thermodynamic integration methods, the models give good predictions of pressure-composition-density relations for CO2 + PEO oligomers. Water effects on the Henry's constant of CO2 in PEO have also been investigated. The dependence of the calculated Henry's constants on the weight percentage of water falls on a temperature-dependent master curve, irrespective of PEO chain length. CGNs are modeled by the inclusion of solid-sphere nanoparticles into the atomistic oligomers. The calculated viscosities from Green-Kubo relationships and temperature extrapolation are of the same order of magnitude as experimental values, but show a smaller activation energy relative to real CGNs systems. Grafted systems have higher viscosities, smaller diffusion coefficients, and slower chain dynamics than the ungrafted counterparts - nanocomposites - at high temperatures. At lower temperatures, grafted systems exhibit faster dynamics for both nanoparticles and chains relative to ungrafted systems, because of lower aggregation of nanoparticles and enhanced correlations between nanoparticles and chains. This agrees with the experimental observation that the new materials have liquid-like behavior in the absence of a solvent. To lower the simulated temperatures into the experimental range, we established a coarse-grained CGNs model by matching structural distribution functions to atomistic simulation data. In contrast with linear polymer systems, for which coarse-graining always accelerate dynamics, coarse-graining of grafted nanoparticles can either accelerate or slowdown the core motions, depending on the length of the grafted chains. This can be qualitatively predicted by a simple transition-state theory. Similar atomistic models to CGNs were developed for IGNs, with ammonium counterions described by an explicit-hydrogen way; these were in turn compared with "generic" coarse-grained IGNs. The elimination of chemical details in the coarse-grained models does not bring in qualitative changes to the radial distribution functions and diffusion of atomistic IGNs, but saves considerable simulation resources and make simulations near room temperatures affordable. The chain counterions in both atomistic and coarse-grained models are mobile, moving from site to site and from nanoparticle to nanoparticle. At the same temperature and the same core volume fractions, the nanoparticle diffusivities in coarse-grained IGNs are slower by a factor ten than the cores of CGNs. The coarse-grained IGNs models are later used to investigate the system dynamics through analysis of the dependence on temperature and structural parameters of the transport properties (self-diffusion coefficients, viscosities and conductivities). Further, migration kinetics of oligomeric counterions is analyzed in a manner analogous to unimer exchange between micellar aggregates. The counterion migrations follow the "double-core" mechanism and are kinetically controlled by neighboring-core collisions.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Chemical and Biological Engineering

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