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Title: Determination of the effective diffusivity of water in a poly (methyl methacrylate) membrane containing carbon nanotubes using kinetic Monte Carlo simulations

A kinetic Monte Carlo (kMC) simulation algorithm is developed for computing the effective diffusivity of water molecules in a poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) matrix containing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) at several loadings. The simulations are conducted on a cubic lattice to the bonds of which rate constants are assigned governing the elementary jump events of water molecules from one lattice site to another. Lattice sites belonging to PMMA domains of the membrane are assigned different rates than lattice sites belonging to CNT domains. Values of these two rate constants are extracted from available numerical data for water diffusivity within a PMMA matrix and a CNT pre-computed on the basis of independent atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, which show that water diffusivity in CNTs is 3 orders of magnitude faster than in PMMA. Our discrete-space, continuum-time kMC simulation results for several PMMA-CNT nanocomposite membranes (characterized by different values of CNT length L and diameter D and by different loadings of the matrix in CNTs) demonstrate that the overall or effective diffusivity, D{sub eff}, of water in the entire polymeric membrane is of the same order of magnitude as its diffusivity in PMMA domains and increases only linearly with the concentration C (vol. %) inmore » nanotubes. For a constant value of the concentration C, D{sub eff} is found to vary practically linearly also with the CNT aspect ratio L/D. The kMC data allow us to propose a simple bilinear expression for D{sub eff} as a function of C and L/D that can describe the numerical data for water mobility in the membrane extremely accurately. Additional simulations with two different CNT configurations (completely random versus aligned) show that CNT orientation in the polymeric matrix has only a minor effect on D{sub eff} (as long as CNTs do not fully penetrate the membrane). We have also extensively analyzed and quantified sublinear (anomalous) diffusive phenomena over small to moderate times and correlated them with the time needed for penetrant water molecules to explore the available large, fast-diffusing CNT pores before Fickian diffusion is reached.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, GR 26500 Patras (Greece)
  2. (Greece)
  3. (Switzerland)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22493182
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 143; Journal Issue: 16; Other Information: (c) 2015 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; ALGORITHMS; CARBON NANOTUBES; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; CONCENTRATION RATIO; CUBIC LATTICES; MEMBRANES; METHACRYLIC ACID ESTERS; MOLECULAR DYNAMICS METHOD; MOLECULES; MONTE CARLO METHOD; NUMERICAL DATA; PMMA; REACTION KINETICS; WATER