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A theoretical investigation of the microsolvation of multivalent ions in clusters

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A theoretical investigation of the microsolvation of multivalent ions in clusters

Hughes, Sean (2006) A theoretical investigation of the microsolvation of multivalent ions in clusters. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Trivalent lanthanide metals (Ln 3+ ) are among the most spectroscopically active ions in the periodic table and are characterized by their exceptional ability to absorb and emit light in the ultraviolet, visible and near infra-red regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. These ions are sensitive to the nature of their ligands, as has been evidenced from their spectral properties in different environments. In an effort to predict the behaviour of lanthanide ions in different environments, solvated Ln 3+ ions in clusters, Ln 3+ (solvent) n , were investigated as a model system. Cluster studies provide an ideal means of monitoring progressive changes in the properties of the lanthanide ions with cluster size increases. The electronic, energetic and thermodynamic properties of Ln 3+ (H 2 O) n and Ln 3+ (CH 3 CN) n clusters were simulated using a combination of quantum chemistry calculations, model potential development and Monte Carlo simulations, paying close attention to possible cluster-to-bulk transitions. The properties of small Ln 3+ (H 2 O) n clusters obtained from quantum chemistry calculations indicate, much akin to other multi-valent M q+ (H 2 O) n clusters, that the metal ion-water interactions are predominantly electrostatic. Mutual polarization of both the ion and the water molecules accounts for the large Ln 3+ (H 2 O) n cluster binding energies and the resulting structural properties of the clusters. The quantum chemistry results were the basis for designing and parameterising polarizable model potentials for use in Monte Carlo simulations. The simulations revealed that bulk-like properties of Ln 3+ (H 2 O) n clusters, namely first-shell coordination numbers and bulk thermodynamic properties, are obtained at very large cluster sizes (n > or = 64), thus showing that cluster studies are a good model for studying bulk solvation. The Ln 3+ (H 2 O) n cluster binding enthalpies were found to be quite large, even at small cluster size, implying that these species should be stable under experimental conditions. However, small clusters have rarely been observed experimentally when they contain protic solvents and charge-reduced clusters, where the metal loses its 3+ charge, are observed instead. Thus, Eu 3+ (H 2 O) n cluster deprotonation was investigated as a possible explanation for the lack of experimental observation of small Ln 3+ (H 2 O) n clusters. The small clusters were found to favour loss of (solvated) hydronium ions from the cluster, explaining the experimentally-observed, charge-reduced clusters. Only recently (June 2006) was the experimental observation of large Ln 3+ (H 2 O) n clusters (n > 15) reported. This is consistent with our prediction that deprotonation becomes less favourable with cluster size. Finally, investigation of Ln 3+ (CH 3 CN) n clusters, using a similar methodology, reveals that formation of these clusters is also energetically favourable and that convergence to bulk, structural and thermodynamic properties are obtained at smaller cluster sizes than those observed in water clusters. Given that the thermodynamic properties of Ln 3+ (CH 3 CN) n and large Ln 3+ (H 2 O) n clusters have yet to be determined, the results herein may serve as benchmarks for future experimentation.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Chemistry and Biochemistry
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Hughes, Sean
Pagination:xvii, 189 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Chemistry and Biochemistry
Date:2006
Thesis Supervisor(s):Capobianco, John
ID Code:9086
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:44
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:44
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