256. Bridging Structure, Dynamics, and Thermodynamics: An Example Study on Aqueous Potassium Halides
Aqueous salt systems are ubiquitous in all areas of life. The ions in these solutions impose important structural and dynamic perturbations to water. In this study, we employ a combined neutron scattering, nuclear magnetic resonance, and computational modeling approach to deconstruct ion-specific perturbations to water structure and dynamics and shed light on the molecular origins of bulk thermodynamic properties of the solutions. Our approach uses the atomistic scale resolution offered to us by neutron scattering and computational modeling to investigate how the properties of particular short-ranged microenvironments within aqueous systems can be related to bulk properties of the system. We find that by considering only the water molecules in the first hydration shell of the ions that the enthalpy of hydration can be determined. We also quantify the range over which ions perturb water structure by calculating the average enthalpic interaction between a central halide anion and the surrounding water molecules as a function of distance and find that the favorable anion–water enthalpic interactions only extend to ∼4 Å. We further validate this by showing that ions induce structure in their solvating water molecules by examining the distribution of dipole angles in the first hydration shell of the ions but that this perturbation does not extend into the bulk water. We then use these structural findings to justify mathematical models that allow us to examine perturbations to rotational and diffusive dynamics in the first hydration shell around the potassium halide ions from NMR measurements. This shows that as one moves down the halide series from fluorine to iodine, and ionic charge density is therefore reduced, that the enthalpy of hydration becomes less negative. The first hydration shell also becomes less well structured, and rotational and diffusive motions of the hydrating water molecules are increased. This reduction in structure and increase in dynamics are likely the origin of the previously observed increased entropy of hydration as one moves down the halide series. These results also suggest that simple monovalent potassium halide ions induce mostly local perturbations to water structure and dynamics.