Two dimensional epitaxial Water Adlayer on Mica with graphene coating: An ab initio molecular dynamics study

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Motivated by a recent atomic-force-microscopy (AFM) study of water adlayers on mica by Heath and co-workers (Graphene Visualizes the First Water Adlayers on Mica at Ambient Conditions. Science2010, 329, 1188), we performed an ab initio molecular dynamics study of structural and dynamic properties of monolayer, bilayer, and trilayer water adlayers on the muscovite mica (001) surface with and without a graphene coating. We find that in the first epitaxial water adlayer, water molecules that form strong hydrogen bonds with the oxygen on the mica surface show little motions, thereby solid-like, while those "bridging" water molecules on top of the first water adlayer exhibit "itinerant" behavior, thereby liquid-like. Overall, the Born-Oppenheim molecular dynamics (BOMD) simulations (based on the BLYP-D functional) show that the first water adlayer on mica exhibits a unique hybrid solid-liquid-like behavior with a very low diffusion coefficient at ambient conditions. In particular, no dangling hydrogen bonds are found in the first water adlayer on mica. Moreover, the bilayer and trilayer water adlayers show slightly higher structural stability than the first water adlayer. A graphene coating on the water adlayer further enhances stability of the water adlayers. Most importantly, the bilayer water adlayer on mica with the graphene coating becomes fully solid-like, the structure of which is the same as the bilayer slice of ice-I h with a thickness of 7.4 Å, consistent with the AFM measurement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3034-3043
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 11 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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