Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations have been performed to investigate the structure, shear viscosity and dynamics of hydration layers of the thickness of D = 0.61 ∼ 2.44 nm confined between two mica surfaces. For D = 0.92 ∼ 2.44 nm films, water O density distributions indicate that the hydration layers are in liquid phase. The corresponding shear responses are fluidic and similar to those observed in surface force balance (SFB) experiment. However, further increase in confinement leads to the formation of a bilayer ice (D = 0.61 nm) which shows significant shear enhancement and shear thinning over a wide range of shear rate in MD regime, consistent with recent experimental results by shear resonant apparatus for the two mica surfaces in registry.

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