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Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2015 Apr 7;17(13):8407-15. doi: 10.1039/c4cp05304d. Epub 2015 Jan 15.

Determination of partial molar volumes from free energy perturbation theory.

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Department of Chemistry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8107, USA.


Partial molar volume is an important thermodynamic property that gives insights into molecular size and intermolecular interactions in solution. Theoretical frameworks for determining the partial molar volume (V°) of a solvated molecule generally apply Scaled Particle Theory or Kirkwood-Buff theory. With the current abilities to perform long molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations, more direct methods are gaining popularity, such as computing V° directly as the difference in computed volume from two simulations, one with a solute present and another without. Thermodynamically, V° can also be determined as the pressure derivative of the free energy of solvation in the limit of infinite dilution. Both approaches are considered herein with the use of free energy perturbation (FEP) calculations to compute the necessary free energies of solvation at elevated pressures. Absolute and relative partial molar volumes are computed for benzene and benzene derivatives using the OPLS-AA force field. The mean unsigned error for all molecules is 2.8 cm(3) mol(-1). The present methodology should find use in many contexts such as the development and testing of force fields for use in computer simulations of organic and biomolecular systems, as a complement to related experimental studies, and to develop a deeper understanding of solute-solvent interactions.

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