Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids

Combined Molecular Dynamics Simulation-Molecular-Thermodynamic Theory Framework for Predicting Surface Tensions.

PMID 28749139


A molecular modeling approach is presented with a focus on quantitative predictions of the surface tension of aqueous surfactant solutions. The approach combines classical Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations with a molecular-thermodynamic theory (MTT) [ Y. J. Nikas, S. Puvvada, D. Blankschtein, Langmuir 1992 , 8 , 2680 ]. The MD component is used to calculate thermodynamic and molecular parameters that are needed in the MTT model to determine the surface tension isotherm. The MD/MTT approach provides the important link between the surfactant bulk concentration, the experimental control parameter, and the surfactant surface concentration, the MD control parameter. We demonstrate the capability of the MD/MTT modeling approach on nonionic alkyl polyethylene glycol surfactants at the air-water interface and observe reasonable agreement of the predicted surface tensions and the experimental surface tension data over a wide range of surfactant concentrations below the critical micelle concentration. Our modeling approach can be extended to ionic surfactants and their mixtures with both ionic and nonionic surfactants at liquid-liquid interfaces.