Alcohol partitioning by narrow single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) holds the promise for the development of novel nanodevices for diverse applications. Consequently, in this work, the partition of small alcohols by narrow tubes was kinetically and structurally quantified via molecular dynamics simulations. Alcohol partitioning is a fast process in the order of 10 ns for diluted solutions but the axial-diffusivity within SWCNT is greatly diminished being two to three orders of magnitude lower with respect to bulk conditions. Structurally, alcohols form a single-file conformation under confinement and more interestingly, they exhibit a pore-width dependent transition from dipole dimers to a single collective dipole, for both methanol and ethanol. Energetic analyses demonstrate that this transition is the result of a detailed balance between dispersion and electrostatics interactions, with the latter being more pronounced for collective dipoles. This transition fully modifies the reorientational dynamics of the loaded particles, generating stable collective dipoles that could find usage in signal-amplification devices. Overall, the results herein have shown distinct physico-chemical features of confined alcohols and are a further step towards the understanding and development of novel nanofluidics within SWCNTs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry