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Solvent density effects on the solvation behavior and configurational structure of bare and passivated 38-atom gold nanoparticle in supercritical ethane



Solvent density effects on the solvation behavior and configurational structure of bare and passivated 38-atom gold nanoparticle in supercritical ethane



Journal of Physical Chemistry. B 110(42): 20879-20888



In exploring the effects of solvent density on the mode and the degree of solvation of the bare and passivated 38-atom gold particle in supercritical ethane, we have extended the molecular dynamics simulations of the system, reported previously,(34) to cover a range of isotherms in the T > T(c) regime, where T(c) is the critical temperature of the solvent. Consonant with our previous observations, the modes of solvation of the bare and the passivated particle, deduced from the radial distribution of the solvent about the metal core center of mass, are found to be vastly different from each other at all solvent densities: while the molecules solvating the bare particle form a well-defined, two-region layer around it, those solvating the passivated particle are loosely dispersed in the passivating layer. For the bare particle, the degree of solvation (vartheta) as a function of solvent density passes through a maximum occurring in the close vicinity of the critical point, consistent with our previous results and in agreement with Debenedetti's theoretical analysis,(22,23) which predicts a solvation enhancement effect in the critical region for systems where the unlike solvent/solute interaction is much stronger than the solvent/solvent interaction. Taking the degree of solvation (vartheta) as a measure of solvent quality, we have investigated how the solvent quality would vary along the solvent-density isotherms. In the solvent-density regime rho > rho(c), the solvent quality is found to be a decreasing function of the density as a result of progressive dominance of the excluded volume effect over the attractive particle/solvent interactions. The particle/solvent affinity is greatly reduced in the presence of the passivating layer, resulting in considerable shrinkage of the good-solvent-quality domain in the supercritical regime. The solvent environment and the presence of the passivating chains produce significant disorder in the equilibrium structure assumed by the nanoparticle core.

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Accession: 050337445

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 17048902

DOI: 10.1021/jp0633650


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