Tuesday, January 22, 2013

1301.4592 (Thomas D. Kühne et al.)

Electronic signature of the instantaneous asymmetry in the first
coordination shell of liquid water

Thomas D. Kühne, Rustam Z. Khaliullin
Interpretation of the X-ray spectra of water as evidence for its asymmetric structure has challenged the conventional symmetric nearly-tetrahedral model and initiated an intense debate about the order and symmetry of the hydrogen bond network in water. Here, we present new insights into the nature of local interactions in water obtained using a novel energy decomposition method. Our simulations reveal that while a water molecule forms, on average, two strong donor and two strong acceptor bonds, there is a significant asymmetry in the energy of these contacts. We demonstrate that this asymmetry is a result of small instantaneous distortions of hydrogen bonds, which appear as fluctuations on a timescale of hundreds of femtoseconds around the average symmetric structure. Furthermore, we show that the distinct features of the X-ray absorption spectra originate from molecules with high instantaneous asymmetry. Our findings have important implications as they help reconcile the symmetric and asymmetric views on the structure of water.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1301.4592

No comments:

Post a Comment