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Title: Structure, Kinetics, and Thermodynamics of the Aqueous Uranyl(VI) Cation

Molecular simulation techniques are employed to gain insights into the structural, kinetic, and thermodynamic properties of the uranyl(VI) cation (UO22+) in aqueous solution. The simulations make use of an atomistic potential model (force field) derived in this work and based on the model of Guilbaud and Wipff (Guilbaud, P.; Wipff, G. J. Mol. Struct. (THEOCHEM) 1996, 366, 55-63). Reactive flux and thermodynamic integration calculations show that the derived potential model yields predictions for the water exchange rate and free energy of hydration, respectively, that are in agreement with experimental data. The water binding energies, hydration shell structure, and self-diffusion coefficient are also calculated and discussed. Finally, a combination of metadynamics and transition path sampling simulations is employed to probe the mechanisms of water exchange reactions in the first hydration shell of the uranyl ion. These atomistic simulations indicate, based on two-dimensional free energy surfaces, that water exchanges follow an associative interchange mechanism. The nature and structure of the water exchange transition states are also determined. The improved potential model is expected to lead to more accurate predictions of uranyl adsorption energies at mineral surfaces using potential-based molecular dynamics simulations.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
47712; KP1702030
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 117(30):6421-6432
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory