Molecular insights into the influence of ions on water structure. I. Alkali metal ions in solution

05 February 2024, Version 2
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


In this study, we explore the impact of alkali metal ions (Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+, and Cs+) on the hydration structure of water using molecular dynamics simulations carried out with the MB-nrg potential energy functions (PEFs). Our analyses include radial distribution functions, coordination numbers, dipole moments, and infrared spectra of water molecules, calculated as a function of solvation shells. The results collectively indicate a highly local influence of all the alkali metal ions on the hydrogen-bond network established by the surrounding water molecules, with the smallest and most densely charged Li+ ion exerting the most pronounced effect. Remarkably, the MB-nrg PEFs demonstrate excellent agreement with available experimental data for the position and size of the first solvation shells, underscoring their potential as predictive models for realistic simulations of ionic aqueous solutions across various thermodynamic conditions and environments.


aqueous solutions
hydrogen bonding
infrared spectroscopy

Supplementary materials

Supporting Information
Brief overview of the MB-pol and MB-nrg PEFs and their applications in the context of state-of-the-art computer simulations of various aqueous systems.


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