Repository: Freie Universität Berlin, Math Department

External Potential Modifies Friction of Molecular Solutes in Water

Daldrop, J.O. and Kowalik, B.G. and Netz, R.R. (2017) External Potential Modifies Friction of Molecular Solutes in Water. Phys. Rev. X, 7 (4). 041065.


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Stokes’s law for the friction of a sphere in water has been argued to work down to molecular scales, provided the effective hydrodynamic radius includes the hydration layer. In interpretations of experiments and in theoretical models, it is tacitly assumed that the solvent friction experienced by a solute does not depend on whether an external confinement potential acts on the solute. Using a novel method to extract the friction memory function from molecular dynamics simulations, we show that the solvent friction of a strongly harmonically confined methane molecule in water increases by 60% compared to its free-solution value, which is caused by an amplification of the slowest component of the memory function. The friction enhancement occurs for potential strengths typical of physical and chemical bonds and is accompanied by a significant slowing-down of the hydration water dynamics. Thus, the solvent friction acting on molecular solutes is not determined by solvent properties and solute-solvent interactions alone but results from the coupling between solute and solvent dynamics and thereby can be tuned by an external potential acting on the solute. This also explains why simulations of positionally constrained solutes do not reproduce free-solution diffusivities. Dynamic scaling arguments suggest similar effects also for macromolecular solutes provided the solution viscosity is sufficiently enhanced.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Physical Sciences
Mathematical and Computer Sciences > Mathematics > Applied Mathematics
Divisions:Department of Mathematics and Computer Science > Institute of Mathematics
ID Code:2231
Deposited By: Silvia Hoemke
Deposited On:23 Feb 2018 10:08
Last Modified:23 Feb 2022 15:13

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