Senior Project Advisor
Patrick, David L.
Chiral symmetry breaking, Achiral molecules
Chiral symmetry breaking in a fluid of achiral molecules at a liquid-solid interface was studied using atomistic molecular dynamics simulation. The molecules were achiral in three dimensions, but left- and right-handed forms could be distinguished in the reduced symmetry environment of an interfacial fluid. The system consisted of a thick fluid film in contact with a crystalline monolayer adsorbed to a solid surface. When molecules in the crystalline monolayer were arranged in uniformly chiral configurations, a homochiral enantiomeric excess developed in the adjacent interfacial fluid. Fluid properties were characterized through measurements of chiral, nematic, and ferroelectric order parameters, and diffusion coefficients, as a function of distance from the interface. The emergence of chirality is attributed to fluid layering near the solid surface, suggesting that interfacial chirality is commonplace in fluids composed of molecules with certain symmetry characteristics.
Kohl, Patrick B. (Patrick Brian) and Patrick, David L., "Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Large Systems" (2001). WWU Honors Program Senior Projects. 267.
Subjects - Topical (LCSH)
Molecular dynamics--Computer simulation; Chirality
student projects; term papers
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