Water-Aluminum Interaction as Driving Force of Linde Type A Aluminophosphate Hydration

A Hubman and J Volavsek and T Urbic and NZ Logar and F Merzel, NANOMATERIALS, 13, 2387 (2023).

DOI: 10.3390/nano13172387

Linde type A (LTA) aluminophosphate is a promising candidate for an energy storage material used for low-temperature solar and waste-heat management. The mechanism of reversible water adsorption, which is the basis for potential industrial applications, is still not clear. In this paper, we provide mechanistic insight into various aspects of the hydration process using molecular modeling methods. Building on accurate DFT calculations and available experimental data, we first refine the existing empirical force-field used in subsequent classical molecular dynamics simulations that captures the relevant physics of the water binding process. We succeed in fully reproducing the experimentally determined X-ray structure factors and use them to estimate the number of water molecules present in the fully hydrated state of the material. Furthermore, we show that the translational and orientational mobility of the confined water is significantly reduced and resembles the dynamics of glassy systems.

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