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Title: Investigating the solid-liquid phase transition of water nanofilms using the generalized replica exchange method

The generalized Replica Exchange Method (gREM) was applied to study a solid-liquid phase transition in a nanoconfined bilayer water system using the monatomic water (mW) model. Exploiting optimally designed non-Boltzmann sampling weights with replica exchanges, gREM enables an effective sampling of configurations that are metastable or unstable in the canonical ensemble via successive unimodal energy distributions across phase transition regions, often characterized by S-loop or backbending in the statistical temperature. Extensive gREM simulations combined with Statistical Temperature Weighted Histogram Analysis Method (ST-WHAM) for nanoconfined mW water at various densities provide a comprehensive characterization of diverse thermodynamic and structural properties intrinsic to phase transitions. Graph representation of minimized structures of bilayer water systems determined by the basin-hopping global optimization revealed heterogeneous ice structures composed of pentagons, hexagons, and heptagons, consistent with an increasingly ordered solid phase with decreasing density. Apparent crossover from a first-order solid-liquid transition to a continuous one in nanoconfined mW water with increasing density of the system was observed in terms of a diminishing S-loop in the statistical temperature, smooth variation of internal energies and heat capacities, and a characteristic variation of lateral radial distribution functions, and transverse density profiles across transition regions.
Authors:
 [1] ; ;  [2] ; ;  [3]
  1. Division of Materials Science and Engineering, Boston University, Brookline, Massachusetts 02446 (United States)
  2. Department of Chemistry, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215 (United States)
  3. University Chemical Laboratories, Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1EW (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22310797
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 141; Journal Issue: 18; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; DENSITY; ENERGY SPECTRA; LIQUIDS; PHASE TRANSFORMATIONS; SIMULATION; SOLIDS; SPECIFIC HEAT; WATER