Formation patterns of water clusters in CMK-3 and CMK-5 mesoporous carbons: a computational recognition study
Grand canonical Monte Carlo simulations are performed to study the adsorption of water in realistic CMK-3 and CMK-5 models at 300 K. The adsorption isotherms are characterized by negligible uptake at lower chemical potentials and complete pore filling once the threshold chemical potential is increased. Results for the isosteric heat of adsorption, radial distribution function (O–O and O–H), hydrogen bond statistics and the cluster size distribution of water molecules are presented. The snapshots of GCMC simulations in CMK-3 and CMK-5 models show that the adsorption happens via the formation of water clusters. For the CMK-3 model, it was found that the pore filling occurred via the formation of a single water cluster and a few very small clusters. The water cluster size increased with an increase in pore size of the CMK-3 model. For the CMK-5 model, it was found that the adsorption first occurred in the inner porosity (via cluster formation). There was no adsorption of water in the outer porosity during the filling of the inner porosity. After the inner porosity was completely filled, the water begins to fill the outer porosity. Snapshots from GCMC simulations of the CMK-5 model clearly show that the water adsorption in the outer porosity occurs via the formation and growth of clusters and there was no formation of layers of water in the porosity as seen for nonpolar fluids like nitrogen.