Hydration dynamics in water clusters via quantum molecular dynamics simulations

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We have investigated the hydration dynamics in size selected water clusters with n = 66, 104, 200, 500, and 1000 water molecules using molecular dynamics simulations. To study the most fundamental aspects of relaxation phenomena in clusters, we choose one of the simplest, still realistic, quantum mechanically treated test solute, an excess electron. The project focuses on the time evolution of the clusters following two processes, electron attachment to neutral equilibrated water clusters and electron detachment from an equilibrated water cluster anion. The relaxation dynamics is significantly different in the two processes, most notably restoring the equilibrium final state is less effective after electron attachment. Nevertheless, in both scenarios only minor cluster size dependence is observed. Significantly different relaxation patterns characterize electron detachment for interior and surface state clusters, interior state clusters relaxing significantly faster. This observation may indicate a potential way to distinguish surface state and interior state water cluster anion isomers experimentally. A comparison of equilibrium and non-equilibrium trajectories suggests that linear response theory breaks down for electron attachment at 200 K, but the results converge to reasonable agreement at higher temperatures. Relaxation following electron detachment clearly belongs to the linear regime. Cluster relaxation was also investigated using two different computational models, one preferring cavity type interior states for the excess electron in bulk water, while the other simulating non-cavity structure. While the cavity model predicts appearance of several different hydrated electron isomers in agreement with experiment, the non-cavity model locates only cluster anions with interior excess electron distribution. The present simulations show that surface isomers computed with the cavity predicting potential show similar dynamical behavior to the interior clusters of the non-cavity type model. Relaxation associated with cavity collapse presents, however, unique dynamical signatures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number204317
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - May 28 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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