First-principles molecular dynamics calculations performed in a fully converged basis set are used to reveal new details about the mechanism of the anomalous proton-transport process in water, a fundamental question dating back over 200 years. By separating actual structural diffusion from simple rattling events, wherein a proton shuttles forth and back in a hydrogen bond, it is found that the former are driven by a concerted mechanism in which hydronium begins to accept a hydrogen bond from a donor water molecule while the proton-receiving water molecule simultaneously loses one of its acceptor hydrogen bonds. The kinetics of the process are found to be in good agreement with recent experiments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)