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Journal Article

Water clusters in nonpolar cavities

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Vaitheeswaran, S., Yin, H., Rasaiah, J. C., & Hummer, G. (2004). Water clusters in nonpolar cavities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 101(49), 17002-17005. doi:10.1073/pnas.0407968101.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-D774-3
We explore the structure and thermodynamics of water clusters confined in nonpolar cavities. By calculating the grand-canonical partition function term by term, we show that small nonpolar cavities can be filled at equilibrium with highly structured water clusters. The structural and thermodynamic properties of these encapsulated water clusters are similar to those observed experimentally in the gas phase. Water filling is highly sensitive to the size of the cavity and the strength of the interactions with the cavity wall. Water penetration into pores can thus be modulated by small changes in the polarity and structure of the cavity. Implications on water penetration into proteins are discussed.