The activity and function of many macromolecules in cellular environments are coupled with the binding of divalent ions such as calcium or magnesium. In principle, computer simulations can be used to understand the molecular level aspects of how many important macromolecules interact with ions. However, most of the force fields currently available often fail to accurately reproduce the properties of divalent ions in aqueous environments. Here we develop classical non-polarizable force fields for the aqueous alkaline earth metal halides (MX2), where M = Mg2+, Ca2+, Sr2+, Ba2+ and X = Cl−, Br−, I−, which can be used in bimolecular simulations and which are compatible with the Simple Point Charge/Extended (SPC/E) water model. The force field parameters are specifically developed to reproduce the experimental Kirkwood-Buff integrals for aqueous solutions and thereby the experimental activity derivatives, partial molar volumes, and excess coordination numbers. This ensures that a reasonable balance between ion-ion, ion-water, and water-water distributions is obtained. However, this requires a scaling of the cation to water oxygen interaction strength in order to accurately reproduce the integrals. The scaling factors developed for chloride salts are successfully transferable to the bromide and iodide salts. Use of these new models leads to reasonable diffusion constants and dielectric decrements. However, the performance of the models decreases with increasing salt concentration (>4m), and simulations of the pure crystals exhibited unstable behavior.
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Research Article| April 16 2018
A Kirkwood-Buff derived force field for alkaline earth halide salts
Special Collection: Ions in Water
Paul E. Smith
Nawavi Naleem, Nikolaos Bentenitis, Paul E. Smith; A Kirkwood-Buff derived force field for alkaline earth halide salts. J. Chem. Phys. 14 June 2018; 148 (22): 222828. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5019454
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