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Title: Surface structure and stability of partially hydroxylated silica surfaces

Surface energies of silicates influence crack propagation during brittle fracture and decrease with surface relaxation caused by annealing and hydroxylation. Molecular-level simulations are particularly suited for the investigation of surface processes. In this work, classical MD simulations of silica surfaces are performed with two force fields (ClayFF and ReaxFF) to investigate the effect of force field reactivity on surface structure and energy as a function of surface hydroxylation. An unhydroxylated fracture surface energy of 5.1 J/m 2 is calculated with the ClayFF force field, and 2.0 J/m 2 is calculated for the ReaxFF force field. The ClayFF surface energies are consistent with the experimental results from double cantilever beam fracture tests (4.5 J/m 2), whereas ReaxFF underestimated these surface energies. Surface relaxation via annealing and hydroxylation was performed by creating a low-energy equilibrium surface. Annealing condensed neighboring siloxane bonds increased the surface connectivity, and decreased the surface energies by 0.2 J/m 2 for ClayFF and 0.8 J/m 2 for ReaxFF. Posthydroxylation surface energies decreased further to 4.6 J/m 2 with the ClayFF force field and to 0.2 J/m 2 with the ReaxFF force field. Experimental equilibrium surface energies are ~0.35 J/m 2, consistent with the ReaxFF force field. Although neithermore » force field was capable of replicating both the fracture and equilibrium surface energies reported from experiment, each was consistent with one of these conditions. Furthermore, future computational investigations that rely on accurate surface energy values should consider the surface state of the system and select the appropriate force field.« less
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
SAND2017-2690J
Journal ID: ISSN 0743-7463; 651669
Grant/Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Langmuir
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 33; Journal Issue: 15; Journal ID: ISSN 0743-7463
Publisher:
American Chemical Society
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE
OSTI Identifier:
1356827