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J Phys Chem B. 2009 Oct 8;113(40):13279-90. doi: 10.1021/jp902584c.

Molecular dynamics simulations of the dynamic and energetic properties of alkali and halide ions using water-model-specific ion parameters.

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Department of Bioengineering, College of Engineering, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, and Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA.


The dynamic and energetic properties of the alkali and halide ions were calculated using molecular dynamics (MD) and free energy simulations with various different water and ion force fields including our recently developed water-model-specific ion parameters. The properties calculated were activity coefficients, diffusion coefficients, residence times of atomic pairs, association constants, and solubility. Through calculation of these properties, we can assess the validity and range of applicability of the simple pair potential models and better understand their limitations. Due to extreme computational demands, the activity coefficients were only calculated for a subset of the models. The results qualitatively agree with experiment. Calculated diffusion coefficients and residence times between cation-anion, water-cation, and water-anion showed differences depending on the choice of water and ion force field used. The calculated solubilities of the alkali-halide salts were generally lower than the true solubility of the salts. However, for both the TIP4P(EW) and SPC/E water-model-specific ion parameters, solubility was reasonably well-reproduced. Finally, the correlations among the various properties led to the following conclusions: (1) The reliability of the ion force fields is significantly affected by the specific choice of water model. (2) Ion-ion interactions are very important to accurately simulate the properties, especially solubility. (3) The SPC/E and TIP4P(EW) water-model-specific ion force fields are preferred for simulation in high salt environments compared to the other ion force fields.

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