Hydrated proton and hydroxide charge transfer at the liquid/vapor interface of water

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© 2015 AIP Publishing LLC. The role of the solvated excess proton and hydroxide ions in interfacial properties is an interesting scientific question with applications in a variety of aqueous behaviors. The role that charge transfer (CT) plays in interfacial behavior is also an unsettled question. Quantum calculations are carried out on clusters of water with an excess proton or a missing proton (hydroxide) to determine their CT. The quantum results are applied to analysis of multi-state empirical valence bond trajectories. The polyatomic nature of the solvated excess proton and hydroxide ion results in directionally dependent CT, depending on whether a water molecule is a hydrogen bond donor or acceptor in relation to the ion. With polyatomic molecules, CT also depends on the intramolecular bond distances in addition to intermolecular distances. The hydrated proton and hydroxide affect water's liquid/vapor interface in a manner similar to monatomic ions, in that they induce a hydrogen-bonding imbalance at the surface, which results in charged surface waters. This hydrogen bond imbalance, and thus the charged waters at the surface, persists until the ion is at least 10 Å away from the interface.

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Journal of Chemical Physics

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