In the present work, we have performed quantum chemical calculations to determine preferable species among the ionic complexes that are present in ambient water due to the autodissociation of water molecule. First, we have formulated the relative population of the hydrated complexes with respect to the bare ion (H3 O+ or O H-) in terms of the solvation free energies of the relevant molecules. The solvation free energies for various ionic species (H3 O+, H5 O2+, H7 O3+, H9 O4+ or O H-, H3 O2-, H5 O3-, H7 O4-, H9 O5-), categorized as proton or hydroxide ion in solution, have been computed by employing the QM/MM-ER method recently developed by combining the quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) approach with the theory of energy representation (ER). Then, the computed solvation free energies have been used to evaluate the ratio of the populations of the ionic complexes to that of the bare ion (H3 O+ or O H-). Our results suggest that the Zundel form, i.e., H5 O2+, is the most preferable in the solution among the cationic species listed above though the Eigen form (H9 O4+) is very close to the Zundel complex in the free energy, while the anionic fragment from water molecules mostly takes the form of O H-. It has also been found that the loss of the translational entropy of water molecules associated with the formation of the complex plays a role in determining the preferable size of the cluster.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry