Large Decrease of Fluctuations for Supercooled Water in Hydrophobic Nanoconfinement
Stanley, H. Eugene
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Using Monte Carlo simulations we study a coarsegrained model of a water layer confined in a fixed disordered matrix of hydrophobic nanoparticles at different particle concentrations c. For c = 0 we find a 1st order liquidliquid phase transition (LLPT) ending in one critical point at low pressure P. For c > 0 our simulations are consistent with a LLPT line ending in two critical points at low and high pressure. For c = 25% at high P and low temperature T we find a dramatic decrease of compressibility, thermal expansion coefficient, and specific heat. Surprisingly, the effect is present also for c as low as 2.4%. We conclude that even a small presence of nanoscopic hydrophobes can drastically suppress thermodynamic fluctuations, making the detection of the LLPT more difficult.
- Science Day 2011