The orientational order of the molecules at the liquid-vapor interface of acetone has been investigated by computer simulation. To fully describe the orientational preferences of the acetone molecules, the bivariate joint distribution of two independent orientational parameters has been determined at different layers of the interface. The strength of the orientational ordering of the interfacial molecules has been found to be liquid-like rather than crystal-like. The obtained results have revealed that the interfacial acetone molecules have dual orientational preferences. The main symmetry axis of the molecules declines by about 50-70° from the interface normal axis, pointing toward the liquid phase in both of the preferred orientations. However, the plane of the molecules in the orientation preferred on the liquid side of the interface is perpendicular to the interfacial plane, whereas the other preferred orientation, which is present on the vapor side of the interface, corresponds to the alignment obtained from this orientation by an almost 90° rotation around the main symmetry axis. Because the population of the liquid side is higher than that of the vapor side of the interface, the first of the two preferred orientations is the dominant alignment over the entire interface, in good agreement with recent experimental findings (Chen, H.; Gan, W.; Wu, B. H.; Wu, D.; Zhang, Z.; Wang, H. F. Chem. Phys. Lett. 2005, 408, 284).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry