TCB Publications - Abstract

Eduardo R. Cruz-Chu, Aleksei Aksimentiev, and Klaus Schulten. Water-silica force field for simulating nanodevices. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 110:21497-21508, 2006. (PMC: 2517990)

CRUZ2006 Amorphous silica is an inorganic material that is central for many nanotechnology appplications, such as nanoelectronics, microfluidics, and nanopore technology. In order to use molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to study the behavior of biomolecules with silica, we developed a force field for amorphous silica surfaces based on their macroscopic wetting properties that is compatible with the CHARMM force field and TIP3P water model. The contact angle of a water droplet with silica served as a criterion to tune the intermolecular interactions. The resulting force field was used to study the permeation of water through silica nanopores, illustrating the influence of the surface topography and the intermolecular parameters on permeation kinetics. We find that minute modeling of the amorphous surface is critical for MD studies, since the particular arrangement of surface atoms controls sensitively electrostatic interactions between silica and water.

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