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Issue 9, 2011
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Adsorption, structure and dynamics of benzene in ordered and disordered porous carbons

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Abstract

Molecular simulations are used to study the adsorption, structure, and dynamics of benzene at 298 K in atomistic models of ordered and disordered nanoporous carbons. The ordered porous carbon is a regular slit pore made up of graphene sheets. The disordered porous carbon is a structural model that reproduces the morphological (pore shape) and topological (pore connectivity) disorder of saccharose-based porous carbons. As expected for pores of a regular geometry, the filling occurs at well-defined pressures which are an increasing function of the pore width H. In contrast, in qualitative agreement with experimental data for activated carbon fibers, the filling of the disordered carbon is continuous and spans over a large pressure range. The structure and dynamics of benzene in the disordered carbon also strongly depart from that for the slit pore geometry. While benzene in the slit graphite nanopores exhibits significant layering, benzene in the disordered porous carbon exhibits a liquid-like structure very close to its bulk counterpart. Both the ordering and self-diffusivity of benzene in the graphite nanopores depend in a complex manner on the pore width. The dynamics is either slower or faster than its bulk counterpart; our data show that the self-diffusivity decreases as the number of confined layers n divided by the pore width H increases (except for very small pore sizes for which benzene crystallizes and is necessarily slower than the liquid phase). The dynamics of benzene in the disordered porous carbon is isotropic and is much slower than that for the graphite slit nanopores (even with the smallest slit nanopore considered in this work). The results above show that the adsorption, structure, and dynamics of benzene confined in disordered porous carbons cannot be described in simple terms using an ideal model such as the slit pore geometry.

Graphical abstract: Adsorption, structure and dynamics of benzene in ordered and disordered porous carbons

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Article information


Submitted
19 Oct 2010
Accepted
22 Nov 2010
First published
21 Dec 2010

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011,13, 3748-3757
Article type
Paper

Adsorption, structure and dynamics of benzene in ordered and disordered porous carbons

B. Coasne, C. Alba-Simionesco, F. Audonnet, G. Dosseh and K. E. Gubbins, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011, 13, 3748 DOI: 10.1039/C0CP02205E

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