The target of this investigation is to characterize by a recently developed methodology, the main features of the first solvation shells of alkaline ions in nonpolar environments due to aromatic rings, which is of crucial relevance to understand the selectivity of several biochemical phenomena. We employ an evolutionary algorithm to obtain putative global minima of clusters formed with alkali-ions (M+) solvated with n benzene (Bz) molecules, i.e., M+ −(Bz)n. The global intermolecular interaction has been decomposed in Bz−Bz and in M+ −Bz contributions, using a potential model based on different decompositions of the molecular polarizability of benzene. Specifically, we have studied the microsolvation of Na+, K+, and Cs+ with benzene molecules. Microsolvation clusters up to n = 21 benzene molecules are involved in this work and the achieved global minimum structures are reported and discussed in detail. We observe that the number of benzene molecules allocated in the first solvation shell increases with the size of the cation, showing three molecules for Na+ and four for both K+ and Cs+. The structure of this solvation shell keeps approximately unchanged as more benzene molecules are added to the cluster, which is independent of the ion. Particularly stable structures, so-called “magic numbers”, arise for various nuclearities of the three alkali-ions. Strong “magic numbers” appear at n = 2, 3, and 4 for Na+, K+, and Cs+, respectively. In addition, another set of weaker “magic numbers” (three per alkali-ion) are reported for larger nuclearities.

Alkali-Ion Microsolvation with Benzene Molecules

PIRANI, Fernando
2012

Abstract

The target of this investigation is to characterize by a recently developed methodology, the main features of the first solvation shells of alkaline ions in nonpolar environments due to aromatic rings, which is of crucial relevance to understand the selectivity of several biochemical phenomena. We employ an evolutionary algorithm to obtain putative global minima of clusters formed with alkali-ions (M+) solvated with n benzene (Bz) molecules, i.e., M+ −(Bz)n. The global intermolecular interaction has been decomposed in Bz−Bz and in M+ −Bz contributions, using a potential model based on different decompositions of the molecular polarizability of benzene. Specifically, we have studied the microsolvation of Na+, K+, and Cs+ with benzene molecules. Microsolvation clusters up to n = 21 benzene molecules are involved in this work and the achieved global minimum structures are reported and discussed in detail. We observe that the number of benzene molecules allocated in the first solvation shell increases with the size of the cation, showing three molecules for Na+ and four for both K+ and Cs+. The structure of this solvation shell keeps approximately unchanged as more benzene molecules are added to the cluster, which is independent of the ion. Particularly stable structures, so-called “magic numbers”, arise for various nuclearities of the three alkali-ions. Strong “magic numbers” appear at n = 2, 3, and 4 for Na+, K+, and Cs+, respectively. In addition, another set of weaker “magic numbers” (three per alkali-ion) are reported for larger nuclearities.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/909622
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