Density functional theory is used to explore the solvation properties of a spherical solute immersed in a supercritical diatomic fluid. The solute is modeled as a hard core Yukawa particle surrounded by a diatomic Lennard-Jones fluid represented by two fused tangent spheres using an interaction site approximation. The authors' approach is particularly suitable for thoroughly exploring the effect of different interaction parameters, such as solute-solvent interaction strength and range, solvent-solvent long-range interactions, and particle size, on the local solvent structure and the solvation free energy under supercritical conditions. Their results indicate that the behavior of the local coordination number in homonuclear diatomic fluids follows trends similar to those reported in previous studies for monatomic fluids. The local density augmentation is particularly sensitive to changes in solute size and is affected to a lesser degree by variations in the solute-solvent interaction strength and range. The associated solvation free energies exhibit a nonmonotonous behavior as a function of density for systems with weak solute-solvent interactions. The authors' results suggest that solute-solvent interaction anisotropies have a major influence on the nature and extent of local solvent density inhomogeneities and on the value of the solvation free energies in supercritical solutions of heteronuclear molecules.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics