Concerted hydrogen-bond breaking by quantum tunneling in the water hexamer prism
Richardson, Jeremy O
Reid, Adam A
Shields, George C
Pate, Brooks H
American Association for the Advancement of Science
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Richardson, J. O., Pérez, C., Lobsiger, S., Reid, A. A., Temelso, B., Shields, G. C., Kisiel, Z., et al. (2016). Concerted hydrogen-bond breaking by quantum tunneling in the water hexamer prism. Science, 351 1310-1313. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aae0012
The nature of the intermolecular forces between water molecules is the same in small hydrogen-bonded clusters as in the bulk. The rotational spectra of the clusters therefore give insight into the intermolecular forces present in liquid water and ice. The water hexamer is the smallest water cluster to support low-energy structures with branched three-dimensional hydrogen-bond networks, rather than cyclic two-dimensional topologies. Here we report measurements of splitting patterns in rotational transitions of the water hexamer prism, and we used quantum simulations to show that they result from geared and antigeared rotations of a pair of water molecules. Unlike previously reported tunneling motions in water clusters, the geared motion involves the concerted breaking of two hydrogen bonds. Similar types of motion may be feasible in interfacial and confined water.
The authors acknowledge financial support from a European Union COFUND/Durham Junior Research Fellowship (JOR), a Research Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (CP) the U.S. National Science Foundation grants CHE-0960074, CHE-1213521 and CHE-1229354, the Swiss National Science Foundation grant PBBEP2-144907 (SL), the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (AAR, SCA, DJW) and a grant from the Polish National Science Centre, decision number DEC/2011/02/A/ST2/00298 (ZK).
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aae0012
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/254015