We present approximate pseudopotential quantum-mechanical calculations of the excess electron states of equilibrated neutral water clusters sampled by classical molecular dynamics simulations. The internal energy of the clusters are representative of those present at temperatures of 200 and 300 K. Correlated electronic structure calculations are used to validate the pseudopotential for this purpose. We find that the neutral clusters support localized, bound excess electron ground states in about 50% of the configurations for the smallest cluster size studied (n=20), and in almost all configurations for larger clusters (n>66). The state is always exterior to the molecular frame, forming typically a diffuse surface state. Both cluster size and temperature dependence of energetic and structural properties of the clusters and the electron distribution are explored. We show that the stabilization of the electron is strongly correlated with the preexisting instantaneous dipole moment of the neutral clusters, and its ground state energy is reflected in the electronic radius. The findings are consistent with electron attachment via an initial surface state. The hypothetical spectral dynamics following such attachment is also discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry