Structural model of silica nanowire assembled from a highly stable (SiO2)8 unit

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1338-1343
Journal / PublicationJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2006


The ground-state structures of silica clusters (SiO2) n for n = 1-8 were studied by performing calculations at the B3LYP/6-311+G(d) level of density functional theory. The results indicate that the growth mode of a silica nanowire based on small silica clusters may change at different wire lengths. A linear chain might be assembled from the smallest clusters of rhombic two-membered ring (2MR) with n ≤ 5, while the growth motif changes at n = 6 into a more compact form composed of three-membered-rings (3MRs). The 3MR-containing structures become energetically favorable configurations for even longer silica clusters. In particular, the closed molecular ring consisting of 3MRs at n = 8 (i.e., (SiO2)8) with a high symmetry shows extreme energetic stability and relatively high chemical reactivity and thus is considered to be an important building block to assemble into silica nanowires. The relative stability of so-assembled silica nanowires were evaluated and compared with the models of silica nanowires in the literature. © 2006 American Chemical Society.