Dynamics of Electron Localization in Warm vs. Cold Water Clusters

Snapshot of anionic water cluster after electron localization

Ondřej Maršálek, Frank Uhlig, Tomaso Frigato, Burkhard Schmidt, and Pavel Jungwirth

The process of electron localization on a cluster of 32 water molecules at 20, 50, and 300 K is unraveled using ab initio molecular dynamics simulations. In warm, liquid clusters, the excess electron relaxes from an initial diffuse and weakly bound structure to an equilibrated, strongly bound species within 1.5 ps. In contrast, on cold, glassy clusters the relaxation processes is not completed and the electron becomes trapped in a metastable surface state with an intermediate binding energy. These results question the validity of extrapolations of the properties of solvated electrons from cold clusters of increasing size to the liquid bulk.

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Dynamics of electron localization in warm vs. cold water clusters comprising of 32 water molecules

Courtesy by Ondřej Maršálek (Prague)