Authors: de Lara-Castells, Maria Pilar; Mitrushchenkov, Alexander O.

Contribution: Article


Publication date: 2020/07/02

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.0c01432

Abstract: The quantum motion of clusters of up to four deuterium molecules under confinement in a single-wall (1 nm diameter) carbon nanotube is investigated by applying a highly accurate full quantum treatment of the most relevant nuclear degrees of freedom and an ab initio-derived potential model of the underlying dispersion-dominated intermolecular interactions. The wave functions and energies are calculated using an ad hoc-developed discrete variable representation (DVR) numerical approach in internal coordinates, with the space grid approaching a few billion grid points. We unambiguously demonstrate the formation of a solid-like pyramidal one-dimensional chain structure of molecules under the cylindrical nanotube confinement. The onset of solid-like packing is explained by analyzing the potential minima landscape. The stabilization of collective rotational motion through “rigid rotations” of four deuterium molecules provides conclusive evidence for the onset of a quantum solid-like behavior resembling that of quantum rings featuring persistent current (charged particles) or persistent flow (neutral particles).