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Development and Validation of a ReaxFF Reactive Force Field for Cu Cation/Water Interactions and Copper Metal/Metal Oxide/Metal Hydroxide Condensed Phases

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posted on 09.09.2010, 00:00 by Adri C. T. van Duin, Vyacheslav S. Bryantsev, Mamadou S. Diallo, William A. Goddard, Obaidur Rahaman, Douglas J. Doren, David Raymand, Kersti Hermansson
To enable large-scale reactive dynamic simulations of copper oxide/water and copper ion/water interactions we have extended the ReaxFF reactive force field framework to Cu/O/H interactions. To this end, we employed a multistage force field development strategy, where the initial training set (containing metal/metal oxide/metal hydroxide condensed phase data and [Cu(H2O)n]2+ cluster structures and energies) is augmented by single-point quantum mechanices (QM) energies from [Cu(H2O)n]2+ clusters abstracted from a ReaxFF molecular dynamics simulation. This provides a convenient strategy to both enrich the training set and to validate the final force field. To further validate the force field description we performed molecular dynamics simulations on Cu2+/water systems. We found good agreement between our results and earlier experimental and QM-based molecular dynamics work for the average Cu/water coordination, Jahn−Teller distortion, and inversion in [Cu(H2O)6]2+ clusters and first- and second-shell O−Cu−O angular distributions, indicating that this force field gives a satisfactory description of the Cu-cation/water interactions. We believe that this force field provides a computationally convenient method for studying the solution and surface chemistry of metal cations and metal oxides and, as such, has applications for studying protein/metal cation complexes, pH-dependent crystal growth/dissolution, and surface catalysis.