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Diameter-dependent hydrophobicity in carbon nanotubes
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Using TIP5P-Ew water model, the calculations of meniscus of water inside SWCNTs were performed. In a 2.400-nm SWCNT the contact angles were θ ∼ 90∘ at 200 K and θ ∼ 70∘ at 280 K. On the other hand, in a 1.220-nm SWCNT a tubule-like water distribution was observed even at 280 K and a hexagonal ice nanotube clearly formed at least below 260 K.
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The value for U0/R ≈ 100 K is an average value around the center of the 2.034-nm SWCNT in Fig. 3 of Ref. 52, where the potential of an oxygen atom was presented. In the present 2.400-nm SWCNT, U0/R ≈ 60 K was obtained for the SPC/E water at the center of the SWCNT.
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Single-wall carbon nanotubes
(SWCNTs) are a good model system that provides atomically smooth nanocavities. It has been reported that water-SWCNTs exhibit hydrophobicity depending on the temperature T and the SWCNT diameter D. SWCNTs adsorb water molecules spontaneously in their cylindrical pores around room temperature, whereas they exhibit a hydrophilic-hydrophobic transition or wet-dry transition (WDT) at a critical temperature T
wd ≈ 220-230 K and above a critical diameter D
c ≈ 1.4-1.6 nm. However, details of the WDT phenomenon and its mechanism remain unknown. Here, we report a systematic experimental study involving X-ray diffraction, optical microscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry. It is found that water molecules inside thick SWCNTs (D > D
c) evaporate and condense into ice Ih outside the SWCNTs at T
wd upon cooling, and the ice Ih evaporates and condenses inside the SWCNTs upon heating. On the other hand, residual water trapped inside the SWCNTs below T
wd freezes. Molecular dynamics simulations indicate that upon lowering T, the hydrophobicity of thick SWCNTs increases without any structural transition, while the water inside thin SWCNTs (D < D
c) exhibits a structural transition, forming an ordered ice. This ice has a well-developed hydrogen bonding network adapting to the cylindrical pores of the SWCNTs. Thus, the unusual diameter dependence of the WDT is attributed to the adaptability of the structure of water to the pore dimension and shape.
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