Redistribution of carbonyl stretch mode energy in isolated and solvated N-methylacetamide: Kinetic energy spectral density analyses

Jonggu Jeon, Minhaeng Cho

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The vibrational energy transfer from the excited carbonyl stretch mode in N-deuterated N-methylacetamide (NMA-d), both in isolation and in a heavy water cluster, is studied with nonequilibrium molecular dynamics (NEMD) simulations, employing a quantum mechanicalmolecular mechanical (QMMM) force field at the semiempirical PM3 level. The nonequilibrium ensemble of vibrationally excited NMA-d is prepared by perturbing the positions and velocities of the carbonyl C and O atoms and its NEMD trajectories are obtained with a leap-frog algorithm properly modified for the initial perturbation. In addition to the time-domain analysis of the kinetic and potential energies, a novel method for the spectral analysis of the atomic kinetic energies is developed, in terms of the spectral density of kinetic energy, which provides the time-dependent changes of the frequency-resolved kinetic energies without the complications of normal mode analysis at every MD time step. Due to the QM description of the solute electronic structure, the couplings among the normal modes are captured more realistically than with classical force fields. The energy transfer in the isolated NMA-d is found to proceed first from the carbonyl bond to other modes with time scales of 3 ps or less, and then among the other modes over 3-21 ps. In the solvated NMA-d, most of the excess energy is first transferred to other intramolecular modes within 5 ps, which is subsequently dissipated to solvent with 7-19 ps time scales. The contribution of the direct energy transfer from the carbonyl bond to solvent was only 5% with ∼7 ps time scale. Solvent reorganization that leads to destabilization of the electrostatic interactions is found to be crucial in the long time relaxation of the excess energy, while the water intramolecular modes do not contribute significantly. Detailed mode-specific energy transfer pathways are deduced for the isolated and solvated NMA-d and they show that the energy transfer in NMA-d is a highly cooperative process among the intramolecular modes and there is no single dominant pathway with more than 30 of transient contribution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number214504
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec 7

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea Government (MEST) (Grant No. 20090078897) and by the Korea Basic Science Institute (Grant No. T31401).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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