Triplet correlation functions in liquid water

D Dhabal and M Singh and KT Wikfeldt and C Chakravarty, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 141, 174504 (2014).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4898755

Triplet correlations have been shown to play a crucial role in the transformation of simple liquids to anomalous tetrahedral fluids M. Singh, D. Dhabal, A. H. Nguyen, V. Molinero, and C. Chakravarty, Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 147801 (2014). Here we examine triplet correlation functions for water, arguably the most important tetrahedral liquid, under ambient conditions, using configurational ensembles derived from molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and reverse Monte Carlo (RMC) datasets fitted to experimental scattering data. Four different RMC data sets with widely varying hydrogen-bond topologies fitted to neutron and x-ray scattering data are considered K. T. Wikfeldt, M. Leetmaa, M. P. Ljungberg, A. Nilsson, and L. G. M. Pettersson, J. Phys. Chem. B 113, 6246 (2009). Molecular dynamics simulations are performed for two rigid-body effective pair potentials (SPC/E and TIP4P/2005) and the monatomic water (mW) model. Triplet correlation functions are compared with other structural measures for tetrahedrality, such as the O-O-O angular distribution function and the local tetrahedral order distributions. In contrast to the pair correlation functions, which are identical for all the RMC ensembles, the O-O-O triplet correlation function can discriminate between ensembles with different degrees of tetrahedral network formation with the maximally symmetric, tetrahedral SYM dataset displaying distinct signatures of tetrahedrality similar to those obtained from atomistic simulations of the SPC/E model. Triplet correlations from the RMC datasets conform closely to the Kirkwood superposition approximation, while those from MD simulations show deviations within the first two neighbour shells. The possibilities for experimental estimation of triplet correlations of water and other tetrahedral liquids are discussed. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.

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