A new and effective method for thermostatting confined fluids

Sergio De Luca, Todd Billy, Jesper Schmidt Hansen, Daivis, Peter

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


We present a simple thermostatting method suitable for nanoconfined fluid systems. Two conventional strategies involve thermostatting the fluid directly or employing a thermal wall that couples only the wall atoms with the thermostat. When only a thermal wall is implemented, the temperature control of the fluid is true to the actual experiment and the heat is transferred from the fluid to the walls. However, for large or complex systems it can often be computationally prohibitive to employ thermal walls. To overcome this limitation many researchers choose to freeze wall atoms and instead apply a synthetic thermostat to the fluid directly through the equations of motion. This, however, can have serious consequences for the mechanical, thermodynamic, and dynamical properties of the fluid by introducing unphysical behaviour into the system [Bernardi et al. , J. Chem. Phys.132, 244706 (2010)]. In this paper, we propose a simple scheme which enables working with both frozen walls and naturally thermostatted liquids. This is done by superimposing the walls with oscillating particles, which vibrate on the edge of the fluid control volume. These particles exchange energy with the fluid molecules, but do not interact with wall atoms or each other, thus behaving as virtual particles. Their displacements violate the Lindemann criterion for melting, in such a way that the net effect would not amount to an additional confining surface. One advantage over standard techniques is the reduced computational cost, particularly for large walls, since they can be kept rigid. Another advantage over accepted strategies is the opportunity to freeze complex charged walls such as β-cristobalite. The method furthermore overcomes the problem with polar fluids such as water, as thermalized charged surfaces require higher spring constants to preserve structural stability, due to the effects of strong Coulomb interactions, thus inevitably degrading the thermostatting efficiency
TidsskriftJournal of Chemical Physics
Udgave nummer5
StatusUdgivet - 2014

Citer dette