A Generalized Direct-Particle-Deletion Scheme for the Calculation of Chemical Potential and Solubilities of Small- and Medium-Sized Molecules in Amorphous Polymers


The development, validation, and first applications of a generalized version of an inverse Widom method are described. It permits the calculation of solubility coefficients for molecules as large as, e.g., benzene in all polymers for which reasonable forcefield parameters exist. Predicting the solubility is a key to the knowledge-based design of materials utilized to solve permeability related problems. For long time, particle insertion methods, such as the Widom method, were the only way to predict solubilities from molecular models, but they, in most cases, only worked well for rather small penetrants (e.g., H2, O2, N2). Therefore, a few years ago, a new particle deletion algorithm DPD was introduced by Boulougouris, Economou, and Theodorou to overcome this problem in principle. The related computer code was, however, only applicable to special, relatively simple model systems. As application examples for the generalized version described here, solubility calculations for nitrogen, oxygen, and benzene in poly(dimethyl siloxane) are presented.
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