Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 38

Molecular Dynamics Related Abstracts

38 Effect of Plasticizer Additives on the Mechanical Properties of Cement Composite: A Molecular Dynamics Analysis

Authors: R. Mohan, V. Jadhav, A. Ahmed, J. Rivas, A. Kelkar


Cementitious materials are an excellent example of a composite material with complex hierarchical features and random features that range from nanometer (nm) to millimeter (mm) scale. Multi-scale modeling of complex material systems requires starting from fundamental building blocks to capture the scale relevant features through associated computational models. In this paper, molecular dynamics (MD) modeling is employed to predict the effect of plasticizer additive on the mechanical properties of key hydrated cement constituent calcium-silicate-hydrate (CSH) at the molecular, nanometer scale level. Due to complexity, still unknown molecular configuration of CSH, a representative configuration widely accepted in the field of mineral Jennite is employed. The effectiveness of the Molecular Dynamics modeling to understand the predictive influence of material chemistry changes based on molecular/nanoscale models is demonstrated.

Keywords: Molecular Dynamics, Mechanical Properties, cement composite, plasticizer additives

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37 Insight into the Binding Theme of CA-074Me to Cathepsin B: Molecular Dynamics Simulations and Scaffold Hopping to Identify Potential Analogues as Anti-Neurodegenerative Diseases

Authors: Tivani Phosa Mashamba-Thompson, Mahmoud E. S. Soliman


To date, the cause of neurodegeneration is not well understood and diseases that stem from neurodegeneration currently have no known cures. Cathepsin B (CB) enzyme is known to be involved in the production of peptide neurotransmitters and toxic peptides in neurodegenerative diseases (NDs). CA-074Me is a membrane-permeable irreversible selective cathepsin B (CB) inhibitor as confirmed by in vivo studies. Due to the lack of the crystal structure, the binding mode of CA-074Me with the human CB at molecular level has not been previously reported. The main aim of this study is to gain an insight into the binding mode of CB CA-074Me to human CB using various computational tools. Herein, molecular dynamics simulations, binding free energy calculations and per-residue energy decomposition analysis were employed to accomplish the aim of the study. Another objective was to identify novel CB inhibitors based on the structure of CA-074Me using fragment based drug design using scaffold hoping drug design approach. Results showed that two of the designed ligands (hit 1 and hit 2) were found to have better binding affinities than the prototype inhibitor, CA-074Me, by ~2-3 kcal/mol. Per-residue energy decomposition showed that amino acid residues Cys29, Gly196, His197 and Val174 contributed the most towards the binding. The Van der Waals binding forces were found to be the major component of the binding interactions. The findings of this study should assist medicinal chemist towards the design of potential irreversible CB inhibitors.

Keywords: Molecular Dynamics, docking, cathepsin B, scaffold hopping, binding-free energy, neurodegerative diseases

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36 Temperature and Substrate Orientation Effects on the Thermal Stability of Graphene Sheet Attached on the Si Surface

Authors: Wen-Jay Lee, Kuo-Ning Chiang


The graphene binding with silicon substrate has apparently Schottky barriers property, which can be used in the application of solar cell and light source. Because graphene has only one atom layer, the atomistic structure of graphene binding with the silicon surface plays an important role to affect the properties of graphene. In this work, temperature effect on the morphology of graphene sheet attached on different crystal planes of silicon substrates are investigated by Molecular dynamics (MD) (LAMMPS, developed by Sandia National Laboratories). The results show that the covered graphene sheet would cause the structural deformation of the surface Si atoms of stubtrate. To achieve a stable state in the binding process, the surface Si atoms would adjust their position and fit the honeycomb structure of graphene after the graphene attaches to the Si surface. The height contour of graphene on different plane of silicon surfaces presents different pattern, leading the local residual stress at the interface. Due to the high density of dangling bond on the Si (111)7x7 surface, the surface of Si(111)7x7 is not matching with the graphene so well in contrast with Si(100)2x1and Si(111)2x1. Si(111)7x7 is found that only partial silicon adatoms are rearranged on surface after the attachment when the temperature is lower than 200K, As the temperature gradually increases, the deformation of surface structure becomes significant, as well as the residue stress. With increasing temperature till the 815K, the graphene sheet begins to destroy and mixes with the silicon atoms. For the Si(100)2x1 and Si(111)2x1, the silicon surface structure keep its structural arrangement with a higher temperature. With increasing temperature, the residual stress gradually decrease till a critical temperatures. When the temperature is higher than the critical temperature, the residual stress gradually increases and the structural deformation is found on the surface of the Si substrates.

Keywords: Graphene, Molecular Dynamics, Interface, Silicon, Schottky barriers

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35 Estimation of Thermal Conductivity of Nanofluids Using MD-Stochastic Simulation-Based Approach

Authors: Sujoy Das, M. M. Ghosh


The thermal conductivity of a fluid can be significantly enhanced by dispersing nano-sized particles in it, and the resultant fluid is termed as "nanofluid". A theoretical model for estimating the thermal conductivity of a nanofluid has been proposed here. It is based on the mechanism that evenly dispersed nanoparticles within a nanofluid undergo Brownian motion in course of which the nanoparticles repeatedly collide with the heat source. During each collision a rapid heat transfer occurs owing to the solid-solid contact. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation of the collision of nanoparticles with the heat source has shown that there is a pulse-like pick up of heat by the nanoparticles within 20-100 ps, the extent of which depends not only on thermal conductivity of the nanoparticles, but also on the elastic and other physical properties of the nanoparticle. After the collision the nanoparticles undergo Brownian motion in the base fluid and release the excess heat to the surrounding base fluid within 2-10 ms. The Brownian motion and associated temperature variation of the nanoparticles have been modeled by stochastic analysis. Repeated occurrence of these events by the suspended nanoparticles significantly contributes to the characteristic thermal conductivity of the nanofluids, which has been estimated by the present model for a ethylene glycol based nanofluid containing Cu-nanoparticles of size ranging from 8 to 20 nm, with Gaussian size distribution. The prediction of the present model has shown a reasonable agreement with the experimental data available in literature.

Keywords: Nanofluid, Molecular Dynamics, Thermal Conductivity, brownian dynamics

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34 A Numerical Study of Force-Based Boundary Conditions in Multiparticle Collision Dynamics

Authors: Humberto Hijar, Arturo Ayala-Hernandez


We propose a new alternative method for imposing fluid-solid boundary conditions in simulations of Multiparticle Collision Dynamics. Our method is based on the introduction of an explicit potential force acting between the fluid particles and a surface representing a solid boundary. We show that our method can be used in simulations of plane Poiseuille flows. Important quantities characterizing the flow and the fluid-solid interaction like the slip coefficient at the solid boundary and the effective viscosity of the fluid, are measured in terms of the set of independent parameters defining the numerical implementation. We find that our method can be used to simulate the correct hydrodynamic flow within a wide range of values of these parameters.

Keywords: Molecular Dynamics, Boundary Conditions, Multiparticle Collision Dynamics, fluid-solid

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33 Prediction of Phonon Thermal Conductivity of F.C.C. Al by Molecular Dynamics Simulation

Authors: Tanvir Ahmed, Leila Momenzadeh, Alexander V. Evteev, Elena V. Levchenko, Irina Belova, Graeme Murch


In this work, the phonon thermal conductivity of f.c.c. Al is investigated in detail in the temperature range 100 – 900 K within the framework of equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations making use of the Green-Kubo formalism and one of the most reliable embedded-atom method potentials. It is found that the heat current auto-correlation function of the f.c.c. Al model demonstrates a two-stage temporal decay similar to the previously observed for f.c.c Cu model. After the first stage of decay, the heat current auto-correlation function of the f.c.c. Al model demonstrates a peak in the temperature range 100-800 K. The intensity of the peak decreases as the temperature increases. At 900 K, it transforms to a shoulder. To describe the observed two-stage decay of the heat current auto-correlation function of the f.c.c. Al model, we employ decomposition model recently developed for phonon-mediated thermal transport in a monoatomic lattice. We found that the electronic contribution to the total thermal conductivity of f.c.c. Al dominates over the whole studied temperature range. However, the phonon contribution to the total thermal conductivity of f.c.c. Al increases as temperature decreases. It is about 1.05% at 900 K and about 12.5% at 100 K.

Keywords: Molecular Dynamics, Aluminum, gGreen-Kubo formalism, phonon thermal conductivity

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32 Isotope Effects on Inhibitors Binding to HIV Reverse Transcriptase

Authors: Piotr Paneth, Agnieszka Krzemińska, Katarzyna Świderek, Vicente Molinier


In order to understand in details the interactions between ligands and the enzyme isotope effects were studied between clinically used drugs that bind in the active site of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Reverse Transcriptase, HIV-1 RT, as well as triazole-based inhibitor that binds in the allosteric pocket of this enzyme. The magnitudes and origins of the resulting binding isotope effects were analyzed. Subsequently, binding isotope effect of the same triazole-based inhibitor bound in the active site were analyzed and compared. Together, these results show differences in binding origins in two sites of the enzyme and allow to analyze binding mode and place of newly synthesized inhibitors. Typical protocol is described below on the example of triazole ligand in the allosteric pocket. Triazole was docked into allosteric cavity of HIV-1 RT with Glide using extra-precision mode as implemented in Schroedinger software. The structure of HIV-1 RT was obtained from Protein Data Bank as structure of PDB ID 2RKI. The pKa for titratable amino acids was calculated using PROPKA software, and in order to neutralize the system 15 Cl- were added using tLEaP package implemented in AMBERTools ver.1.5. Also N-terminals and C-terminals were build using tLEaP. The system was placed in 144x160x144Å3 orthorhombic box of water molecules using NAMD program. Missing parameters for triazole were obtained at the AM1 level using Antechamber software implemented in AMBERTools. The energy minimizations were carried out by means of a conjugate gradient algorithm using NAMD. Then system was heated from 0 to 300 K with temperature increment 0.001 K. Subsequently 2 ns Langevin−Verlet (NVT) MM MD simulation with AMBER force field implemented in NAMD was carried out. Periodic Boundary Conditions and cut-offs for the nonbonding interactions, range radius from 14.5 to 16 Å, are used. After 2 ns relaxation 200 ps of QM/MM MD at 300 K were simulated. The triazole was treated quantum mechanically at the AM1 level, protein was described using AMBER and water molecules were described using TIP3P, as implemented in fDynamo library. Molecules 20 Å apart from the triazole were kept frozen, with cut-offs established on range radius from 14.5 to 16 Å. In order to describe interactions between triazole and RT free energy of binding using Free Energy Perturbation method was done. The change in frequencies from ligand in solution to ligand bounded in enzyme was used to calculate binding isotope effects.

Keywords: HIV, Molecular Dynamics, binding isotope effects, reverse transcriptase

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31 Free Energy Computation of A G-Quadruplex-Ligand Structure: A Classical Molecular Dynamics and Metadynamics Simulation Study

Authors: Juan Antonio Mondragon Sanchez, Ruben Santamaria


The DNA G-quadruplex is a four-stranded DNA structure formed by stacked planes of four base paired guanines (G-quartet). Guanine rich DNA sequences appear in many sites of genomic DNA and can potential form G-quadruplexes, such as those occurring at 3'-terminus of the human telomeric DNA. The formation and stabilization of a G-quadruplex by small ligands at the telomeric region can inhibit the telomerase activity. In turn, the ligands can be used to down regulate oncogene expression making G-quadruplex an attractive target for anticancer therapy. Many G-quadruplex ligands have been proposed with a planar core to facilitate the pi–pi stacking and electrostatic interactions with the G-quartets. However, many drug candidates are impossibilitated to discriminate a G-quadruplex from a double helix DNA structure. In this context, it is important to investigate the site topology for the interaction of a G-quadruplex with a ligand. In this work, we determine the free energy surface of a G-quadruplex-ligand to study the binding modes of the G-quadruplex (TG4T) with the daunomycin (DM) drug. The complex TG4T-DM is studied using classical molecular dynamics in combination with metadynamics simulations. The metadynamics simulations permit an enhanced sampling of the conformational space with a modest computational cost and obtain free energy surfaces in terms of the collective variables (CV). The free energy surfaces of TG4T-DM exhibit other local minima, indicating the presence of additional binding modes of daunomycin that are not observed in short MD simulations without the metadynamics approach. The results are compared with similar calculations on a different structure (the mutated mu-G4T-DM where the 5' thymines on TG4T-DM have been deleted). The results should be of help to design new G-quadruplex drugs, and understand the differences in the recognition topology sites of the duplex and quadruplex DNA structures in their interaction with ligands.

Keywords: Cancer, Molecular Dynamics, G-Quadruplex, metadynamics

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30 Computational Approach for Grp78–Nf-ΚB Binding Interactions in the Context of Neuroprotective Pathway in Brain Injuries

Authors: Janneth González, George Barreto, Marco Avila


GRP78 participates in multiple functions in the cell during normal and pathological conditions, controlling calcium homeostasis, protein folding and unfolded protein response. GRP78 is located in the endoplasmic reticulum, but it can change its location under stress, hypoxic and apoptotic conditions. NF-κB represents the keystone of the inflammatory process and regulates the transcription of several genes related with apoptosis, differentiation, and cell growth. The possible relationship between GRP78-NF-κB could support and explain several mechanisms that may regulate a variety of cell functions, especially following brain injuries. Although several reports show interactions between NF-κB and heat shock proteins family members, there is a lack of information on how GRP78 may be interacting with NF-κB, and possibly regulating its downstream activation. Therefore, we assessed the computational predictions of the GRP78 (Chain A) and NF-κB complex (IkB alpha and p65) protein-protein interactions. The interaction interface of the docking model showed that the amino acids ASN 47, GLU 215, GLY 403 of GRP78 and THR 54, ASN 182 and HIS 184 of NF-κB are key residues involved in the docking. The electrostatic field between GRP78-NF-κB interfaces and molecular dynamic simulations support the possible interaction between the proteins. In conclusion, this work shed some light in the possible GRP78-NF-κB complex indicating key residues in this crosstalk, which may be used as an input for better drug design strategy targeting NF-κB downstream signaling as a new therapeutic approach following brain injuries.

Keywords: Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Molecular Dynamics, Protein Interactions, Grp78

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29 Replica-Exchange Metadynamics Simulations of G-Quadruplex DNA Structures Under Substitution of K+ by Na+ Ions

Authors: Juan Antonio Mondragon Sanchez, Ruben Santamaria


The DNA G-quadruplex is a four-stranded DNA structure conformed by stacked planes of four base paired guanines (G-quartet). The guanine rich DNA sequences are present in many sites of genomic DNA and can potentially lead to the formation of G-quadruplexes, especially at the 3'-terminus of the human telomeric DNA with many TTAGGG repeats. The formation and stabilization of a G-quadruplex by small ligands at the telomeric region can inhibit the telomerase activity. In turn, the ligands can be used to regulate oncogene expression making the G-quadruplex an attractive target for anticancer therapy. Clearly, the G-quadruplex structured in the telomeric DNA is of fundamental importance for rational drug design. In this context, we investigate two G-quadruplex structures, the first follows from the sequence TTAGGG(TTAGGG)3TT (HUT1), and the second from AAAGGG(TTAGGG)3AA (HUT2), both in a K+ solution. We determine the free energy surfaces of the HUT1 and HUT2 structures and investigate their conformations using replica-exchange metadynamics simulations. The carbonyl-carbonyl distances belonging to different guanines residues are selected as the main collective variables to determine the free energy surfaces. The surfaces exhibit two main local minima, compatible with experiments on the conformational transformations of HUT1 and HUT2 under substitution of the K+ ions by the Na+ ions. The conformational transitions are not observed in short MD simulations without the use of the metadynamics approach. The results of this work should be of help to understand the formation and stability of human telomeric G-quadruplex in environments including the presence of K+ and Na+ ions.

Keywords: Molecular Dynamics, G-Quadruplex, metadynamics, replica-exchange

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28 Molecular Dynamics Study on Mechanical Responses of Circular Graphene Nanoflake under Nanoindentation

Authors: Jeong-Won Kang


Graphene, a single-atom sheet, has been considered as the most promising material for making future nanoelectromechanical systems as well as purely electrical switching with graphene transistors. Graphene-based devices have advantages in scaled-up device fabrication due to the recent progress in large area graphene growth and lithographic patterning of graphene nanostructures. Here we investigated its mechanical responses of circular graphene nanoflake under the nanoindentation using classical molecular dynamics simulations. A correlation between the load and the indentation depth was constructed. The nanoindented force in this work was applied to the center point of the circular graphene nanoflake and then, the resonance frequency could be tuned by a nanoindented depth. We found the hardening or the softening of the graphene nanoflake during its nanoindented-deflections, and such properties were recognized by the shift of the resonance frequency. The calculated mechanical parameters in the force vs deflection plot were in good agreement with previous experimental and theoretical works. This proposed schematics can detect the pressure via the deflection change or/and the resonance frequency shift, and also have great potential for versatile applications in nanoelectromechanical systems.

Keywords: Graphene, Molecular Dynamics, pressure sensor, circular graphene nanoflake

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27 Mechanical Properties of Carbon Nanofiber Reinforced Polymer Composites-Molecular Dynamics Approach

Authors: Navin Kumar, Pramod Kumar, Sumit Sharma, Rakesh Chandra


Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation has been used to study the effect of carbon nanofiber (CNF) volume fraction (Vf) and aspect ratio (l/d) on mechanical properties of CNF reinforced polypropylene (PP) composites. Materials Studio 5.5 has been used as a tool for finding the modulus and damping in composites. CNF composition in PP was varied by volume from 0 to 16%. Aspect ratio of CNF was varied from l/d=5 to l/d=100. To the best of the knowledge of the authors, till date there is no study, either experimental or analytical, which predict damping for CNF-PP composites at the nanoscale. Hence, this will be a valuable addition in the area of nanocomposites. Results show that with only 2% addition by volume of CNF in PP, E11 increases 748%. Increase in E22 is very less in comparison to the increase in E11. With increase in CNF aspect ratio (l/d) till l/d=60, the longitudinal loss factor (η11) decreases rapidly. Results of this study have been compared with those available in literature.

Keywords: Elasticity, Molecular Dynamics, Mechanical Properties, carbon nanofiber

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26 Effect of Carbide Precipitates in Tool Steel on Material Transfer: A Molecular Dynamics Study

Authors: Ahmed Tamer AlMotasem, Jens Bergström, Anders Gåård, Pavel Krakhmalev, Thijs Jan Holleboom


In sheet metal forming processes, accumulation and transfer of sheet material to tool surfaces, often referred to as galling, is the major cause of tool failure. Initiation of galling is assumed to occur due to local adhesive wear between two surfaces. Therefore, reducing adhesion between the tool and the work sheet has a great potential to improve the tool materials galling resistance. Experimental observations and theoretical studies show that the presence of primary micro-sized carbides and/or nitrides in alloyed steels may significantly improve galling resistance. Generally, decreased adhesion between the ceramic precipitates and the sheet material counter-surface are attributed as main reason to the latter observations. On the other hand, adhesion processes occur at an atomic scale and, hence, fundamental understanding of galling can be obtained via atomic scale simulations. In the present study, molecular dynamics simulations are used, with utilizing second nearest neighbor embedded atom method potential to investigate the influence of nano-sized cementite precipitates embedded in tool atoms. The main aim of the simulations is to gain new fundamental knowledge on galling initiation mechanisms. Two tool/work piece configurations, iron/iron and iron-cementite/iron, are studied under dry sliding conditions. We find that the average frictional force decreases whereas the normal force increases for the iron-cementite/iron system, in comparison to the iron/iron configuration. Moreover, the average friction coefficient between the tool/work-piece decreases by about 10 % for the iron-cementite/iron case. The increase of the normal force in the case of iron-cementite/iron system may be attributed to the high stiffness of cementite compared to bcc iron. In order to qualitatively explain the effect of cementite on adhesion, the adhesion force between self-mated iron/iron and cementite/iron surfaces has been determined and we found that iron/cementite surface exhibits lower adhesive force than that of iron-iron surface. The variation of adhesion force with temperature was investigated up to 600 K and we found that the adhesive force, generally, decreases with increasing temperature. Structural analyses show that plastic deformation is the main deformation mechanism of the work-piece, accompanied with dislocations generation.

Keywords: Molecular Dynamics, Adhesion, galling, cementite

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25 Molecular Dynamics Simulation on Nanoelectromechanical Graphene Nanoflake Shuttle Device

Authors: Jeong Won Kang, Eunae Lee, Oh-Kuen Kwon, Ki-Sub Kim


We investigated the dynamic properties of graphene-nanoribbon (GNR) memory encapsulating graphene-nanoflake (GNF) shuttle in the potential to be applicable as a non-volatile random access memory via molecular dynamics simulations. This work explicitly demonstrates that the GNR encapsulating the GNF shuttle can be applied to nonvolatile memory. The potential well was originated by the increase of the attractive vdW energy between the GNRs when the GNF approached the edges of the GNRs. So the bistable positions were located near the edges of the GNRs. Such a nanoelectromechanical non-volatile memory based on graphene is also applicable to the development of switches, sensors, and quantum computing.

Keywords: Molecular Dynamics, graphene nanoribbon, graphene nanoflake, shuttle memory

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24 Coding Considerations for Standalone Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Atomistic Structures

Authors: R. O. Ocaya, J. J. Terblans


The laws of Newtonian mechanics allow ab-initio molecular dynamics to model and simulate particle trajectories in material science by defining a differentiable potential function. This paper discusses some considerations for the coding of ab-initio programs for simulation on a standalone computer and illustrates the approach by C language codes in the context of embedded metallic atoms in the face-centred cubic structure. The algorithms use velocity-time integration to determine particle parameter evolution for up to several thousands of particles in a thermodynamical ensemble. Such functions are reusable and can be placed in a redistributable header library file. While there are both commercial and free packages available, their heuristic nature prevents dissection. In addition, developing own codes has the obvious advantage of teaching techniques applicable to new problems.

Keywords: Simulation, Molecular Dynamics, C language, embedded atom method

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23 Surface Sensing of Atomic Behavior of Polymer Nanofilms via Molecular Dynamics Simulation

Authors: Ling Dai


Surface-sensing devices such as atomic force microscope have been widely used to characterize the surface structure and properties of nanoscale polymer films. However, using molecular dynamics simulations, we show that there is intrinsic and unavoidable inelastic deformation at polymer surfaces induced by the sensing tip. For linear chain polymers like perfluoropolyether, such tip-induced deformation derives from the differences in the atomic interactions which are atomic specie-based Van der Waals interactions, and resulting in atomic shuffling and causing inelastic alternation in both molecular structures and mechanical properties at the regions of the polymer surface. For those aromatic chain polymers like epoxy, the intrinsic deformation is depicted as the intra-chain rotation of aromatic rings and kinking of linear atomic connections. The present work highlights the need to reinterpret the data obtained from surface-sensing tests by considering this intrinsic inelastic deformation occurring at polymer surfaces.

Keywords: Surface, Nano, Polymer, Molecular Dynamics

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22 Molecular Dynamics Simulations on Richtmyer-Meshkov Instability of Li-H2 Interface at Ultra High-Speed Shock Loads

Authors: Weirong Wang, Shenghong Huang, Xisheng Luo, Zhenyu Li


Material mixing process and related dynamic issues at extreme compressing conditions have gained more and more concerns in last ten years because of the engineering appealings in inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and hypervelocity aircraft developments. However, there lacks models and methods that can handle fully coupled turbulent material mixing and complex fluid evolution under conditions of high energy density regime up to now. In aspects of macro hydrodynamics, three numerical methods such as direct numerical simulation (DNS), large eddy simulation (LES) and Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations (RANS) has obtained relative acceptable consensus under the conditions of low energy density regime. However, under the conditions of high energy density regime, they can not be applied directly due to occurrence of dissociation, ionization, dramatic change of equation of state, thermodynamic properties etc., which may make the governing equations invalid in some coupled situations. However, in view of micro/meso scale regime, the methods based on Molecular Dynamics (MD) as well as Monte Carlo (MC) model are proved to be promising and effective ways to investigate such issues. In this study, both classical MD and first-principle based electron force field MD (eFF-MD) methods are applied to investigate Richtmyer-Meshkov Instability of metal Lithium and gas Hydrogen (Li-H2) interface mixing at different shock loading speed ranging from 3 km/s to 30 km/s. It is found that: 1) Classical MD method based on predefined potential functions has some limits in application to extreme conditions, since it cannot simulate the ionization process and its potential functions are not suitable to all conditions, while the eFF-MD method can correctly simulate the ionization process due to its ‘ab initio’ feature; 2) Due to computational cost, the eFF-MD results are also influenced by simulation domain dimensions, boundary conditions and relaxation time choices, etc., in computations. Series of tests have been conducted to determine the optimized parameters. 3) Ionization induced by strong shock compression has important effects on Li-H2 interface evolutions of RMI, indicating a new micromechanism of RMI under conditions of high energy density regime.

Keywords: Molecular Dynamics, Ionization, Richtmyer-Meshkov instability, first-principle, material mixture

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21 A First-Principles Investigation of Magnesium-Hydrogen System: From Bulk to Nano

Authors: Paramita Banerjee, K. R. S. Chandrakumar, G. P. Das


Bulk MgH2 has drawn much attention for the purpose of hydrogen storage because of its high hydrogen storage capacity (~7.7 wt %) as well as low cost and abundant availability. However, its practical usage has been hindered because of its high hydrogen desorption enthalpy (~0.8 eV/H2 molecule), which results in an undesirable desorption temperature of 3000C at 1 bar H2 pressure. To surmount the limitations of bulk MgH2 for the purpose of hydrogen storage, a detailed first-principles density functional theory (DFT) based study on the structure and stability of neutral (Mgm) and positively charged (Mgm+) Mg nanoclusters of different sizes (m = 2, 4, 8 and 12), as well as their interaction with molecular hydrogen (H2), is reported here. It has been found that due to the absence of d-electrons within the Mg atoms, hydrogen remained in molecular form even after its interaction with neutral and charged Mg nanoclusters. Interestingly, the H2 molecules do not enter into the interstitial positions of the nanoclusters. Rather, they remain on the surface by ornamenting these nanoclusters and forming new structures with a gravimetric density higher than 15 wt %. Our observation is that the inclusion of Grimme’s DFT-D3 dispersion correction in this weakly interacting system has a significant effect on binding of the H2 molecules with these nanoclusters. The dispersion corrected interaction energy (IE) values (0.1-0.14 eV/H2 molecule) fall in the right energy window, that is ideal for hydrogen storage. These IE values are further verified by using high-level coupled-cluster calculations with non-iterative triples corrections i.e. CCSD(T), (which has been considered to be a highly accurate quantum chemical method) and thereby confirming the accuracy of our ‘dispersion correction’ incorporated DFT calculations. The significance of the polarization and dispersion energy in binding of the H2 molecules are confirmed by performing energy decomposition analysis (EDA). A total of 16, 24, 32 and 36 H2 molecules can be attached to the neutral and charged nanoclusters of size m = 2, 4, 8 and 12 respectively. Ab-initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) simulation shows that the outermost H2 molecules are desorbed at a rather low temperature viz. 150 K (-1230C) which is expected. However, complete dehydrogenation of these nanoclusters occur at around 1000C. Most importantly, the host nanoclusters remain stable up to ~500 K (2270C). All these results on the adsorption and desorption of molecular hydrogen with neutral and charged Mg nanocluster systems indicate towards the possibility of reducing the dehydrogenation temperature of bulk MgH2 by designing new Mg-based nano materials which will be able to adsorb molecular hydrogen via this weak Mg-H2 interaction, rather than the strong Mg-H bonding. Notwithstanding the fact that in practical applications, these interactions will be further complicated by the effect of substrates as well as interactions with other clusters, the present study has implications on our fundamental understanding to this problem.

Keywords: Molecular Dynamics, Hydrogen Storage, physisorption, Density Functional Theory, dft, Nanoclusters, molecular hydrogen adsorption

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20 Heteromolecular Structure Formation in Aqueous Solutions of Ethanol, Tetrahydrofuran and Dimethylformamide

Authors: Sh. Gofurov, O. Ismailova, U. Makhmanov, A. Kokhkharov


The refractometric method has been used to determine optical properties of concentration features of aqueous solutions of ethanol, tetrahydrofuran and dimethylformamide at the room temperature. Changes in dielectric permittivity of aqueous solutions of ethanol, tetrahydrofuran and dimethylformamide in a wide range of concentrations (0÷1.0 molar fraction) have been studied using molecular dynamics method. The curves depending on the concentration of experimental data on excess refractive indices and excess dielectric permittivity were compared. It has been shown that stable heteromolecular complexes in binary solutions are formed in the concentration range of 0.3÷0.4 mole fractions. The real and complex part of dielectric permittivity was obtained from dipole-dipole autocorrelation functions of molecules. At the concentrations of C = 0.3 / 0.4 m.f. the heteromolecular structures with hydrogen bonds are formed. This is confirmed by the extremum values of excessive dielectric permittivity and excessive refractive index of aqueous solutions.

Keywords: Molecular Dynamics, dielectric constant, aqueous solution, refractometric method

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19 Determination of Activation Energy for Thermal Decomposition of Selected Soft Tissues Components

Authors: M. Ekiert, T. Uhl, A. Mlyniec


Tendons are the biological soft tissue structures composed of collagen, proteoglycan, glycoproteins, water and cells of extracellular matrix (ECM). Tendons, which primary function is to transfer force generated by the muscles to the bones causing joints movement, are exposed to many micro and macro damages. In fact, tendons and ligaments trauma are one of the most numerous injuries of human musculoskeletal system, causing for many people (particularly for athletes and physically active people), recurring disorders, chronic pain or even inability of movement. The number of tendons reconstruction and transplantation procedures is increasing every year. Therefore, studies on soft tissues storage conditions (influencing i.e. tissue aging) seem to be an extremely important issue. In this study, an atomic-scale investigation on the kinetics of decomposition of two selected tendon components – collagen type I (which forms a 60-85% of a tendon dry mass) and elastin protein (which combine with ECM creates elastic fibers of connective tissues) is presented. A molecular model of collagen and elastin was developed based on crystal structure of triple-helical collagen-like 1QSU peptide and P15502 human elastin protein, respectively. Each model employed 4 linear strands collagen/elastin strands per unit cell, distributed in 2x2 matrix arrangement, placed in simulation box filled with water molecules. A decomposition phenomena was simulated with molecular dynamics (MD) method using ReaxFF force field and periodic boundary conditions. A set of NVT-MD runs was performed for 1000K temperature range in order to obtained temperature-depended rate of production of decomposition by-products. Based on calculated reaction rates activation energies and pre-exponential factors, required to formulate Arrhenius equations describing kinetics of decomposition of tested soft tissue components, were calculated. Moreover, by adjusting a model developed for collagen, system scalability and correct implementation of the periodic boundary conditions were evaluated. An obtained results provide a deeper insight into decomposition of selected tendon components. A developed methodology may also be easily transferred to other connective tissue elements and therefore might be used for further studies on soft tissues aging.

Keywords: Soft tissue, Molecular Dynamics, Decomposition, tendons

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18 Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Irradiation-Induced Damage Cascades in Graphite

Authors: Rong Li, Brian D. Wirth, Bing Liu


Graphite is the matrix, and structural material in the high temperature gas-cooled reactor exhibits an irradiation response. It is of significant importance to analyze the defect production and evaluate the role of graphite under irradiation. A vast experimental literature exists for graphite on the dimensional change, mechanical properties, and thermal behavior. However, simulations have not been applied to the atomistic perspective. Remarkably few molecular dynamics simulations have been performed to study the irradiation response in graphite. In this paper, irradiation-induced damage cascades in graphite were investigated with molecular dynamics simulation. Statistical results of the graphite defects were obtained by sampling a wide energy range (1–30 KeV) and 10 different runs for every cascade simulation with different random number generator seeds to the velocity scaling thermostat function. The chemical bonding in carbon was described using the adaptive intermolecular reactive empirical bond-order potential (AIREBO) potential coupled with the standard Ziegler–Biersack–Littmack (ZBL) potential to describe close-range pair interactions. This study focused on analyzing the number of defects, the final cascade morphology and the distribution of defect clusters in space, the length-scale cascade properties such as the cascade length and the range of primary knock-on atom (PKA), and graphite mechanical properties’ variation. It can be concluded that the number of surviving Frenkel pairs increased remarkably with the increasing initial PKA energy but did not exhibit a thermal spike at slightly lower energies in this paper. The PKA range and cascade length approximately linearly with energy which indicated that increasing the PKA initial energy will come at expensive computation cost such as 30KeV in this study. The cascade morphology and the distribution of defect clusters in space mainly related to the PKA energy meanwhile the temperature effect was relatively negligible. The simulations are in agreement with known experimental results and the Kinchin-Pease model, which can help to understand the graphite damage cascades and lifetime span under irradiation and provide a direction to the designs of these kinds of structural materials in the future reactors.

Keywords: Molecular Dynamics, graphite damage cascade, cascade morphology, cascade distribution

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17 The Actuation of Semicrystalline Poly(Vinylidene Fluoride) Tie Molecules: A Computational and Experimental Study

Authors: Abas Mohsenzadeh, Kim Bolton, Tariq Bashir, Waseen Tahir, Ulf Stigh, Mikael Skrifvars


The area of artificial muscles has received significant attention from many research domains including soft robotics, biomechanics and smart textiles in recent years. Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) has been used to form artificial muscles since it contracts upon heating when under load. In this study, PVDF fibers were produced by melt spinning technique at different solid state draw ratios and then actuation mechanism for PVDF tie molecules within the semicrystalline region of PVDF polymer has been investigated using molecular dynamics simulations. Tie molecules are polymer chains that link two (or more) crystalline regions in semicrystalline polymers. The changes in fiber length upon heating have been investigated using a novel simulation technique. The results show that conformational changes of the tie molecules from the longer all-trans conformation at low temperature (β structure) to the shorter conformation (α structure) at higher temperature accrue by increasing the temperature. These results may be applied to understand the actuation observed for PVDF upon heating.

Keywords: Simulation, Actuators, Molecular Dynamics, poly(vinylidene fluoride), tie molecules, semicrystalline

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16 Molecular-Dynamics Study of H₂-C₃H₈-Hydrate Dissociation: Non-Equilibrium Analysis

Authors: Mohammad Reza Ghaani, Niall English


Hydrogen is looked upon as the next-generation clean-energy carrier; the search for an efficient material and method for storing hydrogen has been, and is, pursued relentlessly. Clathrate hydrates are inclusion compounds wherein guest gas molecules like hydrogen are trapped in a host water-lattice framework. These types of materials can be categorised as potentially attractive hosting environments for physical hydrogen storage (i.e., no chemical reaction upon storage). Non-equilibrium molecular dynamics (NEMD) simulations have been performed to investigate thermal-driven break-up of propane-hydrate interfaces with liquid water at 270-300 K, with the propane hydrate containing either one or no hydrogen molecule in each of its small cavities. In addition, two types of hydrate-surface water-lattice molecular termination were adopted, at the hydrate edge with water: a 001-direct surface cleavage and one with completed cages. The geometric hydrate-ice-liquid distinction criteria of Báez and Clancy were employed to distinguish between the hydrate, ice lattices, and liquid-phase. Consequently, the melting temperatures of interface were estimated, and dissociation rates were observed to be strongly dependent on temperature, with higher dissociation rates at larger over-temperatures vis-à-vis melting. The different hydrate-edge terminations for the hydrate-water interface led to statistically-significant differences in the observed melting point and dissociation profile: it was found that the clathrate with the planar interface melts at around 280 K, whilst the melting temperature of the cage-completed interface was determined to be circa 270 K.

Keywords: Molecular Dynamics, Hydrogen Storage, clathrate hydrate, thermal dissociation

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15 Anonymous Gel-Fluid Transition of Solid Supported Lipids

Authors: Asma Poursoroush


Solid-supported lipid bilayers are often used as a simple model for studies of biological membranes. The presence of a solid substrate that interacts attractively with lipid head-groups is expected to affect the phase behavior of the supported bilayer. Molecular dynamics simulations of a coarse-grained model are thus performed to investigate the phase behavior of supported one-component lipid bilayer membranes. Our results show that the attraction of the lipid head groups to the substrate leads to a phase behavior that is different from that of a free standing lipid bilayer. In particular, we found that the phase behaviors of the two leaflets are decoupled in the presence of a substrate. The proximal leaflet undergoes a clear gel-to-fluid phase transition at a temperature lower than that of a free standing bilayer, and that decreases with increasing strength of the substrate-lipid attraction. The distal leaflet, however, undergoes a change from a homogeneous liquid phase at high temperatures to a heterogeneous state consisting of small liquid and gel domains, with the average size of the gel domains that increases with decreasing temperature. While the chain order parameter of the proximal leaflet clearly shows a gel-fluid phase transition, the chain order parameter of the distal leaflet does not exhibit a clear phase transition. The decoupling in the phase behavior of the two leaflets is due to a non-symmteric lipid distribution in the two leaflets resulting from the presence of the substrate.

Keywords: Simulation, Molecular Dynamics, Membrane, substrate

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14 Structure of Grain Boundaries in α-Zirconium and Niobium

Authors: Divya Singh, Avinash Parashar


Due to superior mechanical, creep and nuclear cross section, zirconium and niobium (Zr-Nb) based alloys are commonly used as nuclear materials for the manufacturing of fuel cladding and pressure tubes in nuclear power plants. In this work, symmetrical tilt grain boundary (STGB) structures in α-Zr are studied for their structure and energies along two tilt axes- [0001] and [0-110] using MD based simulations. Tilt grain boundaries are obtained along [0001] tilt axis, and special twin structures are obtained along [0-110] tilt axis in α-Zr. For Nb, STGBs are constructed along [100] and [110] axis using atomistic simulations. The correlation between GB structures and their energies is subsequently examined. A close relationship is found to exist between individual GB structure and its energy in both α-Zr and Nb. It is also concluded that the energies of the more coherent twin grain boundaries are lower than the symmetrical tilt grain boundaries.

Keywords: Molecular Dynamics, grain boundaries, grain boundary energy, hcp crystal

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13 Effect of Hydroxyl Functionalization on the Mechanical and Fracture Behaviour of Monolayer Graphene

Authors: Avinash Parashar, Akarsh Verma


The aim of this article is to study the effects of hydroxyl functional group on the mechanical strength and fracture toughness of graphene. This functional group forms the backbone of intrinsic atomic structure of graphene oxide (GO). Molecular dynamics-based simulations were performed in conjunction with reactive force field (ReaxFF) parameters to capture the mode-I fracture toughness of hydroxyl functionalised graphene. Moreover, these simulations helped in concluding that spatial distribution and concentration of hydroxyl functional group significantly affects the fracture morphology of graphene nanosheet. In contrast to literature investigations, atomistic simulations predicted a transition in the failure morphology of hydroxyl functionalised graphene from brittle to ductile as a function of its spatial distribution on graphene sheet.

Keywords: Graphene, Molecular Dynamics, Graphene Oxide, ReaxFF

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12 Modeling and Simulation of the Structural, Electronic and Magnetic Properties of Fe-Ni Based Nanoalloys

Authors: Ece A. Irmak, Amdulla O. Mekhrabov, M. Vedat Akdeniz


There is a growing interest in the modeling and simulation of magnetic nanoalloys by various computational methods. Magnetic crystalline/amorphous nanoparticles (NP) are interesting materials from both the applied and fundamental points of view, as their properties differ from those of bulk materials and are essential for advanced applications such as high-performance permanent magnets, high-density magnetic recording media, drug carriers, sensors in biomedical technology, etc. As an important magnetic material, Fe-Ni based nanoalloys have promising applications in the chemical industry (catalysis, battery), aerospace and stealth industry (radar absorbing material, jet engine alloys), magnetic biomedical applications (drug delivery, magnetic resonance imaging, biosensor) and computer hardware industry (data storage). The physical and chemical properties of the nanoalloys depend not only on the particle or crystallite size but also on composition and atomic ordering. Therefore, computer modeling is an essential tool to predict structural, electronic, magnetic and optical behavior at atomistic levels and consequently reduce the time for designing and development of new materials with novel/enhanced properties. Although first-principles quantum mechanical methods provide the most accurate results, they require huge computational effort to solve the Schrodinger equation for only a few tens of atoms. On the other hand, molecular dynamics method with appropriate empirical or semi-empirical inter-atomic potentials can give accurate results for the static and dynamic properties of larger systems in a short span of time. In this study, structural evolutions, magnetic and electronic properties of Fe-Ni based nanoalloys have been studied by using molecular dynamics (MD) method in Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator (LAMMPS) and Density Functional Theory (DFT) in the Vienna Ab initio Simulation Package (VASP). The effects of particle size (in 2-10 nm particle size range) and temperature (300-1500 K) on stability and structural evolutions of amorphous and crystalline Fe-Ni bulk/nanoalloys have been investigated by combining molecular dynamic (MD) simulation method with Embedded Atom Model (EAM). EAM is applicable for the Fe-Ni based bimetallic systems because it considers both the pairwise interatomic interaction potentials and electron densities. Structural evolution of Fe-Ni bulk and nanoparticles (NPs) have been studied by calculation of radial distribution functions (RDF), interatomic distances, coordination number, core-to-surface concentration profiles as well as Voronoi analysis and surface energy dependences on temperature and particle size. Moreover, spin-polarized DFT calculations were performed by using a plane-wave basis set with generalized gradient approximation (GGA) exchange and correlation effects in the VASP-MedeA package to predict magnetic and electronic properties of the Fe-Ni based alloys in bulk and nanostructured phases. The result of theoretical modeling and simulations for the structural evolutions, magnetic and electronic properties of Fe-Ni based nanostructured alloys were compared with experimental and other theoretical results published in the literature.

Keywords: Molecular Dynamics, Density Functional Theory, Nanoalloys, embedded atom model, Fe-Ni systems

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11 Inhibition of 3-Deoxy-D-Arabino-Heptulosonate 7-Phosphate Synthase from Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Using High Throughput Virtual Screening and Molecular Dynamics Studies

Authors: Christy Rosaline, Rathankar Roa, Waheeta Hopper


Persistence of tuberculosis, emergence of multidrug-resistance and extensively drug-resistant forms of the disease, has increased the interest in developing new antitubercular drugs. Developing inhibitors for 3-deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonate 7-phosphate synthase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MtbDAH7Ps), an enzyme involved in shikimate pathway, gives a selective target for antitubercular agents. MtbDAH7Ps was screened against ZINC database, and shortlisted compounds were subjected to induce fit docking. Prime/Molecular Mechanics Generalized Born Surface Area calculation was used to validate the binding energy of ligand-protein complex. Molecular Dynamics analysis for of the lead compounds–MtbDAH7Ps complexes showed that the backbone of MtbDAH7Ps in their complexes were stable. These results suggest that the shortlisted lead compounds ZINC04097114, ZINC15163225, ZINC16857013, ZINC06275603, and ZINC05331260 could be developed into novel drug leads to inhibit DAH7Ps in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Keywords: Molecular Dynamics, Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, MtbDAH7Ps, HTVS

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10 Microjetting from a Grooved Metal Surface under Decaying Shocks

Authors: Jian-Li Shao


Using Molecular Dynamic (MD) simulations, we simulated the microjet from the metal surface under decaying shock loading. The microjetting processes under release melting conditions are presented in detail, and some properties on the microjet mass and velocity are revealed. The phased increase of microjet mass with shock pressure is found. For all cases, the ratio of the maximal jetting velocity to the surface velocity approximately keeps a constant for liquid state. In addition, the temperature of the microjet can be always above the melting point. When introducing slow decaying profiles, the microjet mass begins to increase with the decay rate, which is dominated by the deformation of the bubble during pull-back. When the decay rate becomes fast enough, the microspall occurs as expected, meanwhile, the microjet appears to reduce because of the shock energy reduction.

Keywords: Molecular Dynamics, Metal, shock, microjetting

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9 Effect of Velocity-Slip in Nanoscale Electroosmotic Flows: Molecular and Continuum Transport Perspectives

Authors: Ali Beskok, Alper T. Celebi


Electroosmotic (EO) slip flows in nanochannels are investigated using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, and the results are compared with analytical solution of Poisson-Boltzmann and Stokes (PB-S) equations with slip contribution. The ultimate objective of this study is to show that well-known continuum flow model can accurately predict the EO velocity profiles in nanochannels using the slip lengths and apparent viscosities obtained from force-driven flow simulations performed at various liquid-wall interaction strengths. EO flow of aqueous NaCl solution in silicon nanochannels are simulated under realistic electrochemical conditions within the validity region of Poisson-Boltzmann theory. A physical surface charge density is determined for nanochannels based on dissociations of silanol functional groups on channel surfaces at known salt concentration, temperature and local pH. First, we present results of density profiles and ion distributions by equilibrium MD simulations, ensuring that the desired thermodynamic state and ionic conditions are satisfied. Next, force-driven nanochannel flow simulations are performed to predict the apparent viscosity of ionic solution between charged surfaces and slip lengths. Parabolic velocity profiles obtained from force-driven flow simulations are fitted to a second-order polynomial equation, where viscosity and slip lengths are quantified by comparing the coefficients of the fitted equation with continuum flow model. Presence of charged surface increases the viscosity of ionic solution while the velocity-slip at wall decreases. Afterwards, EO flow simulations are carried out under uniform electric field for different liquid-wall interaction strengths. Velocity profiles present finite slips near walls, followed with a conventional viscous flow profile in the electrical double layer that reaches a bulk flow region in the center of the channel. The EO flow enhances with increased slip at the walls, which depends on wall-liquid interaction strength and the surface charge. MD velocity profiles are compared with the predictions from analytical solutions of the slip modified PB-S equation, where the slip length and apparent viscosity values are obtained from force-driven flow simulations in charged silicon nano-channels. Our MD results show good agreements with the analytical solutions at various slip conditions, verifying the validity of PB-S equation in nanochannels as small as 3.5 nm. In addition, the continuum model normalizes slip length with the Debye length instead of the channel height, which implies that enhancement in EO flows is independent of the channel height. Further MD simulations performed at different channel heights also shows that the flow enhancement due to slip is independent of the channel height. This is important because slip enhanced EO flow is observable even in micro-channels experiments by using a hydrophobic channel with large slip and high conductivity solutions with small Debye length. The present study provides an advanced understanding of EO flows in nanochannels. Correct characterization of nanoscale EO slip flow is crucial to discover the extent of well-known continuum models, which is required for various applications spanning from ion separation to drug delivery and bio-fluidic analysis.

Keywords: Molecular Dynamics, electroosmotic flow, slip length, velocity-slip

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