The interaction between silica surface and water is an important topic in geophysics and materials science, yet little is known about the reaction process. In this study we use first-principles molecular dynamics to simulate the hydrolysis process of silica surface using large cluster models. We find that a single water molecule is stable near the surface but can easily dissociate at three-coordinated silicon atom defect sites in the presence of other water molecules. These extra molecules provide a mechanism for hydrogen transfer from the original water molecule, hence catalyzing the reaction. The two-coordinated silicon atom is inert to the water molecule, and water clusters up to pentamer could be stably adsorbed at this site at room temperature.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Chemical Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|