Molecular dynamics study to identify the reactive sites of a liquid squalane surface

S. P K Köhler, Stewart K. Reed, Robin E. Westacott, Kenneth G. McKendrick

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41 Citations (Scopus)


Molecular dynamics simulations of liquid squalane, C30H 62, were performed, focusing in particular on the liquid-vacuum interface. These theoretical studies were aimed at identifying potentially reactive sites on the surface, knowledge of which is important for a number of inelastic and reactive scattering experiments. A united atom force field (Martin, M. G.; Siepmann, J. I. J. Phys. Chem. B 1999, 103, 4508-4517) was used, and the simulations were analyzed with respect to their interfacial properties. A modest but clearly identifiable preference for methyl groups to protrude into the vacuum has been found at lower temperatures. This effect decreases when going to higher temperatures. Additional simulations tracking the flight paths of projectiles directed at a number of randomly chosen surfaces extracted from the molecular dynamics simulations were performed. The geometrical parameters for these calculations were chosen to imitate a typical abstraction reaction, such as the reaction between ground-state oxygen atoms and hydrocarbons. Despite the preference for methyl groups to protrude further into the vacuum, Monte Carlo tracking simulations suggest, on geometric grounds, that primary and secondary hydrogen atoms are roughly equally likely to react with incoming gas-phase atoms. These geometric simulations also indicate that a substantial fraction of the scattered products is likely to undergo at least one secondary collision with hydrocarbon side chains. These results help to interpret the outcome of previous measurements of the internal and external energy distribution of the gas-phase OH products of the interfacial reaction between oxygen atoms and liquid squalane. © 2006 American Chemical Society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11717-11724
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2006


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