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J Chem Phys. 2014 Nov 14;141(18):18C502. doi: 10.1063/1.4895546.

Theoretical vibrational sum-frequency generation spectroscopy of water near lipid and surfactant monolayer interfaces.

Author information

1
Theoretical Chemistry Institute and Department of Chemistry, 1101 University Ave., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.

Abstract

Understanding the structure of water near cell membranes is crucial for characterizing water-mediated events such as molecular transport. To obtain structural information of water near a membrane, it is useful to have a surface-selective technique that can probe only interfacial water molecules. One such technique is vibrational sum-frequency generation (VSFG) spectroscopy. As model systems for studying membrane headgroup/water interactions, in this paper we consider lipid and surfactant monolayers on water. We adopt a theoretical approach combining molecular dynamics simulations and phase-sensitive VSFG to investigate water structure near these interfaces. Our simulated spectra are in qualitative agreement with experiments and reveal orientational ordering of interfacial water molecules near cationic, anionic, and zwitterionic interfaces. OH bonds of water molecules point toward an anionic interface leading to a positive VSFG peak, whereas the water hydrogen atoms point away from a cationic interface leading to a negative VSFG peak. Coexistence of these two interfacial water species is observed near interfaces between water and mixtures of cationic and anionic lipids, as indicated by the presence of both negative and positive peaks in their VSFG spectra. In the case of a zwitterionic interface, OH orientation is toward the interface on the average, resulting in a positive VSFG peak.

PMID:
25399167
DOI:
10.1063/1.4895546
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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