Adsorption of flexible oligomers into narrow cylindrical pores has been studied by means of several versions of classical density functional theory (CDFT) and Monte Carlo simulation. The adsorption process is interesting to study due to the competition between the entropic depletion of oligomers from the pores and the wall-oligomer attraction. It is also challenging to describe using current CDFTs, which tend to overestimate the amount of the adsorbed fluid. From a comparison of several different CDFT approaches, we find that this is due to the assumption of ideal or freely jointed chain conformations. Moreover, it is demonstrated that it is impossible to obtain a reasonable description of the adsorption isotherms without taking into account accurate contact values in the distribution functions describing the structure of the reference monomer fluid. At low densities, more accurate result are obtained in comparison with Monte Carlo simulation data when accurate contact values are incorporated into the theory rather than the more commonly used hard-sphere contact value. However, even the CDFT with accurate contact values still overestimates the amount of the adsorbed fluid due to the ideal or freely jointed chain approximation, used for the description of chain conformations in most CDFT approaches. We find that significant improvement can achieved by employing self-consistent field theory, which samples self-avoiding chain conformations and decreases the number of possible chain conformations, and, consequently, the amount of the adsorbed fluid.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry