Ab initio molecular dynamics simulation of the solvation and transport of H3O+ and OH- ions in water

Mark Tuckerman, Kari Laasonen, Michiel Sprik, Michele Parrinello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Applying the ab initio molecular dynamics method, we have studied the solvation and dynamics of an excess proton and a proton hole in liquid water. We find for the H3O+ ion a dynamic solvation complex which continuously fluctuates between a (H5O2)+ and (H9O4)+ structure as a result of proton transfer. The results of the simulation strongly suggest that the rate-limiting step for the migration of the excess proton is the concerted dynamics of the second solvation shell hydrogen bonded to the ligand H2O molecules. The OH- ion has a predominantly planar 4-fold coordination. Proton transfer is only observed when this (H9O5)- complex is transformed into a tetrahedral (H7O4)- configuration. The formation of this more open complex determines the OH- diffusion rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5749-5752
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of physical chemistry
Issue number16
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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