Wednesday, June 5, 2013

1306.0411 (Ronald Benjamin et al.)

Lennard-Jones systems near solid walls: Computing interfacial free
energies from molecular simulation methods

Ronald Benjamin, Jürgen Horbach
Different computational techniques in combination with molecular dynamics computer simulation are used to to determine the wall-liquid and the wall-crystal interfacial free energies of a modified Lennard-Jones (LJ) system in contact with a solid wall. Two different kinds of solid walls are considered: a flat structureless wall and a structured wall consisting of an ideal crystal with the particles rigidly attached to fcc lattice sites. Interfacial free energies are determined by a thermodynamic integration scheme, the anisotropy of the pressure tensor, the non-equilibrium work method based on Bennett acceptance criteria, and a method using Cahn's adsorption equations based on the interfacial thermodynamics of Gibbs. For the flat wall, interfacial free energies as a function of different densities of the LJ liquid and as a function of temperature along the coexistence curve are calculated. In case of a structured wall, the interaction strength between the wall and the LJ system and the lattice constant of the structured wall are varied. Using the values of the wall-liquid and wall-crystal interfacial energies along with the value for the crystal-liquid interfacial free energy determined previously for the same system by the "cleaving potential method", we obtain the contact angle as a function of various parameters; in particular the conditions are found under which partial wetting occurs.
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