Modeling water transport properties in carbon nanotubes: Interplay between force-field flexibility and geometrical parameters

LS Moreira and DD de Vargas and MH Köhler, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 108, 034116 (2023).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.108.034116

Modeling water and other liquids in computational simulations requires a large set of parameters. Many works have been devoted to finding new, improved water models, with almost all of them designed for bulk systems. Here, we use carbon nanotubes as a play model to investigate the effects of introducing flexibility in water force fields during molecular dynamics simulations of nanoconfined water. We explore six different models to show that viscosity, diffusion, and dipole orientation are vastly influenced by the flexibility and the family of force fields used. Particularly, we found the level of confinement (decreasing the nanotube's diameter) to increase discrepancies in the description of the dipole alignment. In smaller (10,10) nanotubes, the flexible version of the transferable intermolecular potential with three points (TIP3P/Fs) features a high directionality, while its rigid counterpart shows a more distributed dipole orientation. Both viscosity and diffusion are also extremely dependent on the force-field family, with the flexible version of the simple point charge (SPC/Fw) featuring the lower confidence interval.

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