skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Structure and aggregation in model tetramethylurea solutions

The structure of model aqueous tetramethylurea (TMU) solutions is investigated employing large-scale (32 000, 64 000 particles) molecular dynamics simulations. Results are reported for TMU mole fractions, X{sub t}, ranging from infinite dilution up to 0.07, and for two temperatures, 300 and 330 K. Two existing force fields for TMU-water solutions are considered. These are the GROMOS 53A6 united-atom TMU model combined with SPC/E water [TMU(GROMOS-UA)/W(SPC/E)], and the more frequently employed AMBER03 all-atom force field for TMU combined with the TIP3P water model [TMU(AMBER-AA)/W(TIP3P)]. It is shown that TMU has a tendency towards aggregation for both models considered, but the tendency is significantly stronger for the [TMU(AMBER-AA)/W(TIP3P)] force field. For this model signs of aggregation are detected at X{sub t} = 0.005, aggregation is a well established feature of the solution at X{sub t} = 0.02, and the aggregates increase further in size with increasing concentration. This is in agreement with at least some experimental studies, which report signals of aggregation in the low concentration regime. The TMU aggregates exhibit little structure and are simply loosely ordered, TMU-rich regions of solution. The [TMU(GROMOS-UA)/W(SPC/E)] model shows strong signs of aggregation only at higher concentrations (X{sub t} ≳ 0.04), and the aggregates appear moremore » loosely ordered, and less well-defined than those occurring in the [TMU(AMBER-AA)/W(TIP3P)] system. For both models, TMU aggregation increases when the temperature is increased from 300 to 330 K, consistent with an underlying entropy driven, hydrophobic interaction mechanism. At X{sub t} = 0.07, the extra-molecular correlation length expected for microheterogeneous solutions has become comparable with the size of the simulation cell for both models considered, indicating that even the systems simulated here are sufficiently large only at low concentrations.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1 (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22420035
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 141; Journal Issue: 6; 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; AGGLOMERATION; AQUEOUS SOLUTIONS; ENTROPY; INTERACTIONS; MOLECULAR DYNAMICS METHOD; PARTICLES; SIMULATION