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J Phys Chem A. 2005 Jun 16;109(23):5042-9.

Interior and interfacial aqueous solvation of benzene dicarboxylate dianions and their methylated analogues: A combined molecular dynamics and photoelectron spectroscopy study.

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  • 1Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and Center for Biomolecules and Complex Molecular Systems, Flemingovo nam. 2, 16610 Prague 6, Czech Republic.


Aqueous solvation of benzene dicarboxylate dianions (BCD(2-)) was studied by means of photoelectron spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations. Photoelectron spectra of hydrated o- and p-BCD(2-) with up to 25 water molecules were obtained. An even-odd effect was observed for the p-BCD(2-) system as a result of the alternate solvation of the two negative charges. However, the high polarizability of the benzene ring makes the two carboxylate groups interact with each other in p-BCD(2-), suppressing the strength of this even-odd effect compared with the linear dicarboxylate dianions linked by an aliphatic chain. No even-odd effect was observed for the o-BCD(2-) system, because each solvent molecule can interact with the two carboxylate groups at the same time due to their proximity. For large solvated clusters, the spectral features of the solute decreased while the solvent features became dominant, suggesting that both o- and p-BCD(2-) are situated in the center of the solvated clusters. Molecular dynamics simulations with both nonpolarizable and polarizable force fields confirmed that all three isomers (o-, m-, and p-BCD(2-)) solvate in the aqueous bulk. However, upon methylation the hydrophobic forces overwhelm electrostatic interactions and, as a result, the calculations predict that the tetramethyl-o-BCD(2-) is located at the water surface with the carboxylate groups anchored in the liquid and the methylated benzene ring tilted away from the aqueous phase.

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