Rotational dynamics of polyatomic ions in aqueous solutions: From continuum model to mode-coupling theory, aided by computer simulations

P Banerjee and B Bagchi, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 148, 224504 (2018).

DOI: 10.1063/1.5027031

Due to the presence of the rotational mode and the distributed surface charges, the dynamical behavior of polyatomic ions in water differs considerably from those of the monatomic ions. However, their fascinating dynamical properties have drawn scant attention. We carry out theoretical and computational studies of a series of well-known polyatomic ions, namely, sulfate, nitrate, and acetate ions. All three ions exhibit different rotational diffusivity, with that of the nitrate ion being considerably larger than the other two. They all defy the hydrodynamic laws of size dependence. Study of the local structure around the ions provides valuable insight into the origin of these differences. We carry out a detailed study of the rotational diffusion of these ions by extensive computer simulation and by using the theoretical approaches of the dielectric friction developed by Fatuzzo- Mason (FM) and Nee-Zwanzig (NZ), and subsequently generalized by Alavi and Waldeck. A critical element of the FM-NZ theory is the decomposition of the total rotational friction, zeta(Rot), into Stokes and dielectric parts. The study shows a dominant role of dielectric friction in the sense that if the ions are made neutral, the nature of diffusion changes and the values become much larger. Our analyses further reveal that the decomposition of total friction into the Stokes and dielectric friction breaks down for sulfate ions but remains semi-quantitatively valid for nitrate and acetate ions. We discuss the relationship between translational and rotational dielectric friction on rigid spherical ions. We develop a self-consistent mode-coupling theory (SC-MCT) formalism that could provide a unified view of rotational friction of polyatomic ions in polar medium. Our SC-MCT shows that the breakdown can be attributed to the change in the microscopic structural features. The mode-coupling theory helps in elucidating the role of coupling between translational and rotational motion of these ions. In fact, these two motions self-consistently determine the value of each other. The reference interaction site model-based MCT suggests an interesting relation between the torque-torque and the force-force time correlation function with the proportionality constant being determined by the geometry and the charge distribution of the polyatomic molecule. We point out several parallelisms between the theories of translational and rotation friction calculations of ions in polar liquids. Published by AIP Publishing.

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