A Molecular Dynamics Study of Alkaline Earth Metal-Chloride Complexation in Aqueous Solution

JP Larentzos and LJ Criscenti, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B, 112, 14243-14250 (2008).

DOI: 10.1021/jp802771w

The relative stability of alkaline earth metals (M2+ = Mg2+, Ca2+, Sr2+, and Ba2+) and their chloride complexes in aqueous solution is examined through molecular dynamics simulations using a flexible SPC water model with an internally consistent set of metal ion force field parameters. For each metal-chloride ion pair in aqueous solution, the free energy profile was calculated via potential of mean force simulations. The simulations provide detailed thermodynamic information regarding the relative stability of the different types of metal-chloride pairs. The free energy profiles indicate that the preference for contact ion pair formation increases with ionic radius and is closely related to the metal hydration free energies. The water residence times within the first hydration shells are in agreement with residence times reported in other computational studies. Calculated association constants suggest an increase in metal-chloride complexation with increasing cation radii that is inconsistent with experimentally observed trends. Possible explanations for this discrepancy are discussed.

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