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Probing the structural properties of the water solvation shell around gold nanoparticles: A computational study

Abstract : While subjected to radiation, gold nanoparticles (GNPs) have been shown to enhance the production of radicals when added to aqueous solutions. It has been proposed that the arrangement of water solvation layers near the water–gold interface plays a significant role. As such, the structural and electronic properties of the first water solvation layer surrounding GNPs of varying sizes were compared to bulk water using classical molecular dynamics and quantum and semi-empirical methods. Classical molecular dynamics was used to understand the change in macroscopic properties of bulk water in the presence of different sizes of GNP, as well as by including salt ions. The analysis of these macroscopic properties has led to the conclusion that larger GNPs induce the rearrangement of water molecules to form a 2D hydrogen-bond network at the interface. Quantum methods were employed to understand the electronic nature of the interaction between water molecules and GNPs along with the change in the water orientation and the vibrational density of states. The stretching region of vibrational density of states was found to extend into the higher wavenumber region, as the size of the GNP increases. This extension represents the dangling water molecules at the interface, as a result of reorientation of the water molecules in the first solvation shell. This multi-level study suggests that in the presence of GNP of increasing sizes, the first water solvation shell undergoes a rearrangement to maximize the water–water interactions as well as the water–GNP interactions.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, August 18, 2021 - 6:12:22 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 20, 2021 - 3:26:57 AM

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Rika Tandiana, Emilie Brun, Cécile Sicard-Roselli, Dominik Domin, Nguyen-Thi Van-Oanh, et al.. Probing the structural properties of the water solvation shell around gold nanoparticles: A computational study. Journal of Chemical Physics, American Institute of Physics, 2021, 154 (4), pp.044706. ⟨10.1063/5.0037551⟩. ⟨hal-03322216⟩

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