Effects of adsorptive water on the rupture of nanoscale liquid bridges

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The mechanical behavior of liquid bridges has not been thoroughly understood especially at the nanoscale, and the macroscopic solution may not apply to nanoscale liquid bridges. Among possible analysis approaches, molecular dynamics simulation enables investigations of complex physicochemical processes at an atomistic resolution, which is directly built on the fundamental inter- and intra-molecular forces. In this study, molecular dynamics simulation is employed to investigate the mechanical behavior of the liquid bridge between two soil mineral disk particles under tensile loadings. To reveal the dominant physical mechanisms, a series of parametric studies was conducted considering different mineral types, initial inter-particle distances, and water volumes. It was found that the interplay of adsorption and capillarity, which is overlooked in the macroscopic solution, is substantial at the nanoscale.

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© 2017 Published by Elsevier B.V. Publisher's version of record: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clay.2017.07.002

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Applied Clay Science