An approach towards understanding the structure of complex molecular systems: The case of lower aliphatic alcohols

Aleksander Vrhovšek, Orsolya Gereben, Szilvia Pothoczki, Matija Tomšič, Andrej Jamnik, Shinji Kohara, Làszló Pusztai

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An extensive study of liquid aliphatic alcohols methanol, ethanol, and propanol, applying reverse Monte Carlo modelling as a method of interpretation of diffraction data, is presented. The emphasis is on the evaluation of several computational strategies in view of their suitability to obtain high quality molecular models via the reverse Monte Carlo procedure. A consistent set of distances of closest approach and fixed neighbour constraints applicable to all three investigated systems was developed. An all-atom description is compared with a united-atom approach. The potentialities of employment of neutron diffraction data of completely deuterated and isotopically substituted samples, x-ray diffraction data, and results of either molecular dynamics or Monte Carlo calculations were investigated. Results show that parallel application of x-ray and neutron diffraction data, the latter being from completely deuterated samples, within an all-atom reverse Monte Carlo procedure is the most successful strategy towards attaining reliable, detailed, and well-structured molecular models, especially if the models are subsequently refined with the results of molecular dynamics simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number404214
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - Oct 13 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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