Simple electrolyte solutions: Comparison of DRISM and molecular dynamics results for alkali halide solutions

In Suk Joung, Tyler Luchko, David A. Case

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Using the dielectrically consistent reference interaction site model (DRISM) of molecular solvation, we have calculated structural and thermodynamic information of alkali-halide salts in aqueous solution, as a function of salt concentration. The impact of varying the closure relation used with DRISM is investigated using the partial series expansion of order-n (PSE-n) family of closures, which includes the commonly used hypernetted-chain equation (HNC) and Kovalenko-Hirata closures. Results are compared to explicit molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, using the same force fields, and to experiment. The mean activity coefficients of ions predicted by DRISM agree well with experimental values at concentrations below 0.5 m, especially when using the HNC closure. As individual ion activities (and the corresponding solvation free energies) are not known from experiment, only DRISM and MD results are directly compared and found to have reasonably good agreement. The activity of water directly estimated from DRISM is nearly consistent with values derived from the DRISM ion activities and the Gibbs-Duhem equation, but the changes in the computed pressure as a function of salt concentration dominate these comparisons. Good agreement with experiment is obtained if these pressure changes are ignored. Radial distribution functions of NaCl solution at three concentrations were compared between DRISM and MD simulations. DRISM shows comparable water distribution around the cation, but water structures around the anion deviate from the MD results; this may also be related to the high pressure of the system. Despite some problems, DRISM-PSE-n is an effective tool for investigating thermodynamic properties of simple electrolytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044103
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 28 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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