Molecular dynamics simulations of charged nanoparticle self-assembly at ionic liquid-water and ionic liquid-oil interfaces

Denzil S. Frost, Lenore Dai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Nanoparticle self-assembly at liquid-liquid interfaces can be significantly affected by the individual nanoparticle charges. This is particularly true at ionic liquid (IL) based interfaces, where Coulombic forces play a major role. Employing 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate (BMIMPF 6) as a model IL, we have studied the self-assembly of hydrophobic nanoparticles with different surface charges at the ILwater and ILoil (hexane) interfaces using molecular dynamics simulations. In the ILwater system, the nanoparticles were initially dispersed in the water phase but quickly equilibrated at the interface, somewhat in favor of the IL phase. This preference was lessened with increased nanoparticle charge. In the ILhexane system, all charged nanoparticles interacted with the IL to some extent, whereas the uncharged nanoparticles remained primarily in the hexane phase. Potential of mean force calculations supported the observations from the equilibrium studies and provided new insights into the interactions of the nanoparticles and ionic liquid based interfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number084706
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Feb 28 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

Cite this