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    The Back Cover: Confined Fluids in Nanoporous Materials

    The Back Cover: Confined Fluids in Nanoporous Materials

    In the world of nanoporous materials -- solid materials that have pores of nanometer size -- fluids trapped in these pores exhibit exotic phenomena quite different from everyday exper- ence. Even properties such as the freezing point of water can change markedly when water is confined in these tiny pores. Keith Gubbins, W.H. Clark Distinguished University Professor at North Carolina State University, leads a group using NPACI’s IBM SP, Cray T3E, and soon Blue Horizon to study how gases and liquids interact at the molecular level with such nanoporous materials, which play important roles as separators, filters, and catalysts and in chemical processing. Fluids confined in porous materials also have novel properties that could lead to new technologies in energy storage and nanotechnology devices. Recently, Gubbins and his team developed a global phase diagram that reveals that, under some conditions, the freezing point of a fluid confined in pores can be raised. For this image, Gubbins’ team simulated a model of an activated carbon (red) pore structure, followed by molecular simulations of nitrogen (blue) adsorption.