Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Electron−Alkali Cation Pairs in Bulk Water

Abstract : The structural, dynamic, and thermodynamic properties of an excess electron interacting with an alkali cation (Na+, K+, Li+) in bulk water were investigated by means of a mixed quantum-classical molecular dynamics simulation technique. This study includes a reparametrization of the electron−cation pseudopotentials. The free energy calculations for all three systems show that a contact electron−cation pair can be observed, which is either as stable as the dissociated pair (Li+) or more stable by only a few kT (Na+, K+). Given that the dissociation barrier is also quite small, we suggest that the average cation−electron distance in the experiments at room temperature will not depend on this free energy profile but rather on the minimization of the Coulombic repulsive interaction between like charges in the solvent medium. This enables us to compare the present molecular dynamics simulations with the spectroscopic data obtained for different ionic strengths. The overall trend of the UV−vis hydrated absorption spectra, namely, the shift toward shorter wavelengths at high ionic strengths, is fairly well reproduced. This confirms our hypothesis of statistical distribution of the cations and solvated electrons.
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F.-X. Coudert, P. Archirel, A. Boutin. Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Electron−Alkali Cation Pairs in Bulk Water. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, American Chemical Society, 2006, 110 (1), pp.607-615. ⟨10.1021/jp0542975⟩. ⟨hal-00088127⟩

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