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Influence of molecular shape on self-diffusion under severe confinement: A molecular dynamics study...

by Indu Dhiman, Utsab R Shrestha, Debsindhu Bhowmik, David Cole, Siddharth Gautam
Publication Type
Journal Name
Chemical Physics
Publication Date
Page Numbers
92 to 102

We have investigated the effect of molecular shape and charge asymmetry on the translation dynamics of confined hydrocarbon molecules having different shapes but similar kinetic diameters, inside ZSM-5 pores using molecular dynamics simulations. The mean square displacement of propane, acetonitrile, acetaldehyde, and acetone in ZSM-5 exhibit two different regimes – ballistic and diffusive/sub-diffusive. All the molecules except propane exhibit sub-diffusive motion at time scales greater than 1 ps. The intermediate scattering functions reveal that there is a considerable rotational-translational coupling in the motion of all the molecules, due to the strong geometrical restriction imposed by ZSM-5. Overall the difference in shape and asymmetry in charge imposes severe restriction inside the ZSM-5 channels for all the molecules to different extents. Further, the behavior of molecules confined in ZSM-5 in the present study, quantified wherever possible, is compared to their behavior in bulk or in other porous media reported in literature.