Etude par modélisation moléculaire de la thermodynamique des interfaces et des lignes de contact en milieu confiné

Abstract : In this thesis, we use molecular simulation tools to characterize the thermodynamic properties of fluids confined in nanometric solids. While at the macroscopic scale, the free energy of fluids in contact with a solid is described by pressures and surface tensions, respectively free energies per unit volume and per unit area, at the molecular scale, additional parameters are needed. One of them is the free energy per unit length of the triple line, the line tension. Its values and the methodologies used to measure it are controversial.The thermodynamics of interfaces and lines can be theoretically studied with molecular simulation tools. To extract the surface and line tensions from a simulated molecular trajectory, various statistical methodologies are available. In particular, we here use the mechanical methodology, which consists in measuring the stresses related to the quasistatic spreading of a fluid on a solid.In the first part, we study the microscopic expression of wetting stresses at a planar solid-fuid interface. When a laterally homogeneous solid is considered, the virial theorem applied to an infinite fluid film without consideration of the limit between wet and dry surfaces provides the forces related to the film extension on a dry solid. In the case of a laterally heterogeneous solid, this methodology neglects forces that are concentrated at the triple line. By comparing the surface tensions measured with different methodologies, we show that the neglected terms may induce important errors in the case of rough surfaces.In the second part, we focus on laterally homogeneous solids. We develop a methodology to measure the free energy and the line tension of a confined fluid-fluid interface using fluid mechanical stresses. We simulate Van der Waals fluids and water in liquid-vapor equilibrium confined in different solids. The concept of line tension appears robust down to confinements of a few molecular diameters, and its value consistent with various theoretical approaches, thus solving paradoxical results from the literature.In the last part, we apply the mechanical methodology to study the equilibrium of two fluid species in confinement, one liquid and the other gaseous. We simulate Van der Waals solvents and solutes, and water with carbon dioxide. Various adsorptions at the surfaces and the triple line are observed, strongly impacting the free energy of the confined liquid-gas interface. Finally the adsorption-induced variation of the line tension can be modelled by a unidimensional equivalent of the Gibbs isotherm.
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Romain Bey. Etude par modélisation moléculaire de la thermodynamique des interfaces et des lignes de contact en milieu confiné. Matière Condensée [cond-mat]. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018GREAY081⟩. ⟨tel-02183513⟩

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