The short range anion-H interaction is the driving force for crystal formation of ions in water

  • Alejandre J
  • Chapela G
  • Bresme F
 et al. 
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The crystal formation of NaCl in water is studied by extensive molecular dynamics simulations. Ionic solutions at room temperature and various concentrations are studied using the SPC/E and TIP4P/2005 water models and seven force fields of NaCl. Most force fields of pure NaCl fail to reproduce the experimental density of the crystal, and in solution some favor dissociation at saturated conditions, while others favor crystal formation at low concentration. A new force field of NaCl is proposed, which reproduces the experimental phase diagram in the solid, liquid, and vapor regions. This force field overestimates the solubility of NaCl in water at saturation conditions when used with standard Lorentz-Berthelot combining rules for the ion-water pair potentials. It is shown that precipitation of ions is driven by the short range interaction between Cl-H pairs, a term which is generally missing in the simulation of ionic solutions. The effects of intramolecular flexibility of water on the solubility of NaCl ions are analyzed and is found to be small compared to rigid models. A flexible water model, extending the rigid SPC/E, is proposed, which incorporates Lennard-Jones interactions centered on the hydrogen atoms. This force field gives liquid-vapor coexisting densities and surface tensions in better agreement with experimental data than the rigid SPC/E model. The Cl-H, Na-O, and Cl-O pair distribution functions of the rigid and flexible models agree well with experiment. The predicted concentration dependence of the electric conductivity is in fair agreement with available experimental data.

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  • Joś Alejandre

  • Gustavo A. Chapela

  • Fernando Bresme

  • Jean Pierre Hansen

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