Accurate Modeling of Bromide and Iodide Hydration with Data-Driven Many-Body Potentials

05 July 2022, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Ion–water interactions play a central role in determining the properties of aqueous systems in a wide range of environments. However, a quantitative understanding of how the hydration properties of ions evolve from small aqueous clusters to bulk solutions and interfaces remains elusive. Here, we introduce the second generation of data-driven many-body energy (MB- nrg) potential energy functions (PEFs) representing bromide–water and iodide–water interactions. The MB-nrg PEFs use permutationally invariant polynomials to reproduce two-body and three-body energies calculated at the coupled cluster level of theory, and implicitly represent all higher-body energies using classical many-body polarization. A systematic analysis of the hydration structure of small Br−(H2O)n and I−(H2O)n clusters demonstrates that the MB-nrg PEFs predict interaction energies in quantitative agreement with “gold standard” coupled cluster reference values. Importantly, when used in molecular dynamics simulations carried out in the isothermal-isobaric ensemble for single bromide and iodide ions in liquid water, the MB-nrg PEFs predict extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectra that accurately reproduce the experimental spectra, which thus allows for characterizing the hydration structure of the two ions with high level of confidence.


ion hydration
many-body interactions
X-ray spectroscopy
data-driven models
aqueous solutions
statistical mechanics
quantum mechanics


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.