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Structure and dynamics of the hydration shells of the Al3+ ion.

  • Bylaska, Eric J
  • Valiev, Marat
  • Rustad, James R
  • Weare, John H
Published Article
The Journal of chemical physics
Publication Date
Mar 14, 2007
PMID: 17362073


First principles simulations of the hydration shells surrounding Al3+ ions are reported for temperatures near 300 degrees C. The predicted six water molecules in the octahedral first hydration shell were found to be trigonally coordinated via hydrogen bonds to 12 s shell water molecules in agreement with the putative structure used to analyze the x-ray data, but in disagreement with the results reported from conventional molecular dynamics using two-and three-body potentials. Bond lengths and angles of the water molecules in the first and second hydration shells and the average radii of these shells also agreed very well with the results of the x-ray analysis. Water transfers into and out of the second solvation shell were observed to occur on a picosecond time scale via a dissociative mechanism. Beyond the second shell the bonding pattern substantially returned to the tetrahedral structure of bulk water. Most of the simulations were done with 64 solvating water molecules (20 ps). Limited simulations with 128 water molecules (7 ps) were also carried out. Results agreed as to the general structure of the solvation region and were essentially the same for the first and second shell. However, there were differences in hydrogen bonding and Al-O radial distribution function in the region just beyond the second shell. At the end of the second shell a nearly zero minimum in the Al-O radial distribution was found for the 128 water system. This minimum is less pronounced minimum found for the 64 water system, which may indicate that sizes larger than 64 may be required to reliably predict behavior in this region.

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