Binding of calcium cations with three different types of oxygen-based functional groups of superplasticizers studied by atomistic simulations

Hongxia Zhao, Yong Yang, Yanwei Wang, Xin Shu, Shishan Wu, Qianping Ran, Jiaping Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This work investigated interactions between calcium cations (Ca2+) and three common types of oxygen-based functional groups of concrete superplasticizers using density functional theory (DFT) calculations and all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The three common types of oxygen-based functional groups were modeled as three hypothetical, low-molecular-weight organic molecules, each containing a methyl-terminated oxyethylene dimer and an adsorbing head of two oxygen-based functional groups, and are referred to as carboxylate, sulfonate, and phosphate groups, respectively, following the usual terminology in the field of concrete admixtures. Our DFT results show that the binding strength of the three groups with calcium cations follows (from high to low) phosphate>carboxylate>sulfonate, and both the electrophilic attack and the chemical reactivity of the three groups contribute significantly to the binding strength. The MD simulation results indicate that the adsorption of the three small molecules on the calcite (1 0 4) surface in aqueous solution shares a similar pattern in the sense that just two oxygen atoms of two adjacent anchor groups adsorb on the calcium atoms on the top layer of the crystal. The adsorption strength among the three types of functional groups follows the same order as the binding strength obtained from DFT calculations; both results corroborate a similar rule-of-thumb established by experiments. Furthermore, interactions of the three types of groups with water molecules suggest that strong hydrogen-bonding interactions exist in those systems. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Article number321
JournalJournal of Molecular Modeling
Volume24
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2018

Keywords

  • Adsorption
  • All-atom MD simulations
  • Binding
  • Calcium ion
  • DFT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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