Two-dimensional percolation at the free water surface and its relation with the surface tension anomaly of water

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The percolation temperature of the lateral hydrogen bonding network of the molecules at the free water surface is determined by means of molecular dynamics computer simulation and identification of the truly interfacial molecules analysis for six different water models, including three, four, and five site ones. The results reveal that the lateral percolation temperature coincides with the point where the temperature derivative of the surface tension has a minimum. Hence, the anomalous temperature dependence of the water surface tension is explained by this percolation transition. It is also found that the hydrogen bonding structure of the water surface is largely model-independent at the percolation threshold; the molecules have, on average, 1.90 ± 0.07 hydrogen bonded surface neighbors. The distribution of the molecules according to the number of their hydrogen bonded neighbors at the percolation threshold also agrees very well for all the water models considered. Hydrogen bonding at the water surface can be well described in terms of the random bond percolation model, namely, by the assumptions that (i) every surface water molecule can form up to 3 hydrogen bonds with its lateral neighbors and (ii) the formation of these hydrogen bonds occurs independently from each other.

Original languageEnglish
Article number054707
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 7 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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