Phenol-benzene complexation dynamics: Quantum chemistry calculation, molecular dynamics simulations, and two dimensional IR spectroscopy

Kijeong Kwac, Chewook Lee, Yousung Jung, Jaebeom Han, Kyungwon Kwak, Junrong Zheng, M. D. Fayer, Minhaeng Cho

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47 Citations (Scopus)


Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and quantum mechanical electronic structure calculations are used to investigate the nature and dynamics of the phenol-benzene complex in the mixed solvent, benzeneC Cl4. Under thermal equilibrium conditions, the complexes are continuously dissociating and forming. The MD simulations are used to calculate the experimental observables related to the phenol hydroxyl stretching mode, i.e., the two dimensional infrared vibrational echo spectrum as a function of time, which directly displays the formation and dissociation of the complex through the growth of off-diagonal peaks, and the linear absorption spectrum, which displays two hydroxyl stretch peaks, one for the complex and one for the free phenol. The results of the simulations are compared to previously reported experimental data and are found to be in quite reasonable agreement. The electronic structure calculations show that the complex is T shaped. The classical potential used for the phenol-benzene interaction in the MD simulations is in good accord with the highest level of the electronic structure calculations. A variety of other features is extracted from the simulations including the relationship between the structure and the projection of the electric field on the hydroxyl group. The fluctuating electric field is used to determine the hydroxyl stretch frequency-frequency correlation function (FFCF). The simulations are also used to examine the number distribution of benzene and C Cl4 molecules in the first solvent shell around the phenol. It is found that the distribution is not that of the solvent mole fraction of benzene. There are substantial probabilities of finding a phenol in either a pure benzene environment or a pure C Cl4 environment. A conjecture is made that relates the FFCF to the local number of benzene molecules in phenol's first solvent shell.

Original languageEnglish
Article number244508
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Three of the authors (K.K., J.Z., and M.D.F.) would like to thank the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research (F49620-01-1-0018) for supporting their contribution to this research. Another author (M.C.) thanks for the financial support from CRIP of MOST, Korea.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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