The effects of charge transfer on the aqueous solvation of ions
Ab initio-based charge partitioning of ionic systems results in ions with non-integer charges. This charge-transfer (CT) effect alters both short- and long-range interactions. Until recently, the effects of CT have been mostly neglected in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The method presented in this paper for including charge transfer between ions and water is consistent with ab initio charge partitioning and does not add significant time to the simulation. The ions of sodium, potassium, and chloride are parameterized to reproduce dimer properties and aqueous structures. The average charges of the ions from MD simulations (0.900, 0.919, and −0.775 for Na+, K+, and Cl−, respectively) are consistent with quantum calculations. The hydration free energies calculated for these ions are in agreement with experimental estimates, which shows that the interactions are described accurately. The ions also have diffusion constants in good agreement with experiment. Inclusion of CT results in interesting properties for the waters in the first solvation shell of the ions. For all ions studied, the first shell waters acquire a partial negative charge, due to the difference between water-water and water-ion charge-transfer amounts. CT also reduces asymmetry in the solvation shell of the chloride anion, which could have important consequences for the behavior of chloride near the air-water interface.