Study of ice cluster impacts on amorphous silica using the ReaxFF reactive force field molecular dynamics simulation method

A. Rahnamoun, A. C.T. Van Duin

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We study the dynamics of the collisions between amorphous silica structures and amorphous and crystal ice clusters with impact velocities of 1 km/s, 4 km/s, and 7 km/s using the ReaxFF reactive molecular dynamics simulation method. The initial ice clusters consist of 150 water molecules for the amorphous ice cluster and 128 water molecules for the crystal ice cluster. The ice clusters are collided on the surface of amorphous fully oxidized and suboxide silica. These simulations show that at 1 km/s impact velocities, all the ice clusters accumulate on the surface and at 4 km/s and 7 km/s impact velocities, some of the ice cluster molecules bounce back from the surface. At 4 km/s and 7 km/s impact velocities, few of the water molecules dissociations are observed. The effect of the second ice cluster impacts on the surfaces which are fully covered with ice, on the mass loss/accumulation is studied. These studies show that at 1 km/s impacts, the entire ice cluster accumulates on the surface at both first and second ice impacts. At higher impact velocities, some ice molecules which after the first ice impacts have been attached to the surface will separate from the surface after the second ice impacts at 7 km/s impact velocity. For the 4 km/s ice cluster impact, ice accumulation is observed for the crystal ice cluster impacts and ice separation is observed for the amorphous ice impacts. Observing the temperatures of the ice clusters during the collisions indicates that the possibility of electron excitement at impact velocities less than 10 km/s is minimal and ReaxFF reactive molecular dynamics simulation can predict the chemistry of these hypervelocity impacts. However, at impact velocities close to 10 km/s the average temperature of the impacting ice clusters increase to about 2000 K, with individual molecules occasionally reaching temperatures of over 8000 K and thus it will be prudent to consider the concept of electron excitation at these higher impact velocities, which goes beyond the current ReaxFF ability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number095901
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 7 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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