Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology

, Volume 81, Issue 1, pp 195–204 | Cite as

Validation of the COMPASS force field for complex inorganic–organic hybrid polymers

  • Thomas S. Asche
  • Peter Behrens
  • Andreas M. SchneiderEmail author
Original Paper: Modelling, computational tools and theoretical studies of sol-gel and hybrid materials


Inorganic–organic hybrid polymers are promising alternatives to simple organic polymers. They combine the advantages of organic and inorganic components in one homogeneous material, which can be adjusted to match sophisticated demands for various possible applications ranging from soft silicones to hard hybrid ceramics. Typically, the inorganic network is formed by a sol-gel reaction whereas the organic network is built by a polymerization reaction. Due to their complex architecture on a molecular level, it is often impossible to experimentally obtain information on the atomistic structures of such hybrid materials. In this work, we validate the all-atom COMPASS force field for the simulation of such materials on the basis of a simplified test system with (methacryloyloxymethyl)dimethylethoxysilane as a precursor; which has only one functionality for inorganic condensation, building only one defined condensation product in the sol-gel reaction. The force field was validated based on the experimentally determined single crystal structure of this condensation product and the calculation of its glass transition and melting temperatures by molecular dynamics. The prediction of fluid densities was validated on liquids of the precursor and the condensation product. The validated force field is applied to demonstrate the influence of inorganic cross-linking in the resulting polymer on a simplified network model.

Graphical Abstract

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Ormocer® Inorganic–organic hybrid polymer Simulation Molecular dynamics Force field validation Compass 



The authors would like to thank Robert Zahn at “Deutsches Institut für Kautschuktechnologie e.V.” for the DSC measurements and Dr. Michael Wiebcke and Fabian L. Kempf for assistance in the X-ray single crystal structure determination. The financial support of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) within the priority program 1327 “sub-100 nm structures” is gratefully acknowledged. Individual financial support is granted to Thomas S. Asche by the graduate program MARIO, sponsored by the State of Lower Saxony. S. Steenhusen and R. Houbertz at Fraunhofer Institut für Silicatforschung, Würzburg kindly provided information on the material.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Supplementary material

10971_2016_4185_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (135 kb)
Supplementary Material
10971_2016_4185_MOESM2_ESM.docx (510 kb)
Supplementary Information 1


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas S. Asche
    • 1
  • Peter Behrens
    • 1
  • Andreas M. Schneider
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institut für Anorganische ChemieLeibniz Universität HannoverHannoverGermany

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