, 34:114
Date: 24 Oct 2011

Behavior of water in contact with model hydrophobic cavities and tunnels and carbon nanotubes

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By means of molecular dynamics simulations we analyze the behavior of water in contact with model hydrophobic cavities and tunnels. We study the hydration and filling propensity of cavities and tunnels carved in alkane monolayers and, for comparison, we also study single-walled carbon nanotubes of similar size. Our results will determine the dependence of the filling propensity as a function of cavity size while revealing the dynamical nature of the process with alternation of filled and dry states. Concerning the tunnels built across the monolayer, we shall show that the minimum diameter in order to get filled is about twice as large as that for the carbon nanotubes, thus evidencing a more hydrophobic behavior. The existence of water-water hydrogen bonds, a necessary condition for penetration, will also be made evident.