• Journal Article

Molecular simulation of disjoining-pressure isotherms for free liquid, Lennard-Jones thin films

Citation

Bhatt, D., Newman, J., & Radke, C. J. (2002). Molecular simulation of disjoining-pressure isotherms for free liquid, Lennard-Jones thin films. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 106(25), 6529-6537.

Abstract

We present canonical-ensemble molecular-dynamics simulations of disjoining-pressure isotherms in Lennard-Jones free liquid films. Thermodynamics demands that the disjoining pressure is determined uniquely as a function of the chemical potential purely from the phase diagram of the fluid. Our results from molecular dynamics validate this argument. The inverse-sixth-power distance term in the Lennard-Jones intermolecular potential represents van der Waals dispersion forces. Hence, we compare our results with classical Hamaker theory that is based on dispersion forces but assumes a slab geometry for the density profile and completely neglects fluid structure and entropy. We find that the Hamaker constant obtained from our simulations is about an order of magnitude larger than that from classical theory. To investigate the origin of this discrepancy, we calculate the disjoining-pressure isotherm using a density-functional theory relaxing the inherent assumptions in the Hamaker theory and imparting to the fluid an approximate structure. For disjoining pressure as a function of chemical potential, the results of density-functional theory and molecular dynamics are very close. Even for disjoining-pressure isotherms, and the subsequently calculated Hamaker constant, results of the density-functional theory are closer to the molecular-dynamics simulations by about a factor of 4 compared to Hamaker theory