Engineering nanowires to develop new products and processes is highly topical due to their ability to provide highly enhanced physical, chemical, mechanical, thermal and electrical properties. In this work, using molecular dynamics simulations, we report fundamental information, about the structural and thermodynamic properties of individual anatase titania (TiO2) nanowires with cross-sectional diameters between 2 and 6 nm, and aspect ratio (length to diameter) of 6:1 at temperatures ranging from 300 to 3000 K. Estimates of the melting transition temperature of the nanowires are between 2000 and 2500 K. The melting transition temperature predicted from the radial distribution functions (RDFs) shows strong agreement with those predicted from the total energy profiles. Overall, the transition temperature is in reasonable agreement with melting points predicted from experiments and simulations reported in the literature for spherical nanoparticles of similar sizes. Hence, the melting transition temperature of TiO2 nanowires modelled here can be considered as shape independent. Furthermore, for the first time based on MD simulations, interaction forces between two nanowires are reported at ambient temperature (300 K) for different orientations: parallel, perpendicular and end-to-end. It is observed that end-to-end orientations manifested the strongest attraction forces, while the parallel and perpendicular orientations displayed weaker attractions. The results reported here could form a foundation in future multiscale modelling studies of the structured titania nanowire assemblies, depending on the inter-wire interaction forces.
Journal of Nanoparticle Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 3, 2017
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