Condensed Matter Physics, 2012, vol. 15, No. 4, p. 43602:1-9
DOI:10.5488/CMP.15.43602           arXiv:1212.6357

Title: Temperature and pH driven association in uranyl aqueous solutions
  M. Druchok (Institute for Condensed Matter Physics, NAS of Ukraine, 1 Svientsitskii St., 79011 Lviv, Ukraine),
  M. Holovko (Institute for Condensed Matter Physics, NAS of Ukraine, 1 Svientsitskii St., 79011 Lviv, Ukraine)

An association behavior of uranyl ions in aqueous solutions is explored. For this purpose a set of all-atom molecular dynamics simulations is performed. During the simulation, the fractions of uranyl ions involved in dimer and trimer formations were monitored. To accompany the fraction statistics one also collected distributions characterizing average times of the dimer and trimer associates. Two factors effecting the uranyl association were considered: temperature and pH. As one can expect, an increase of the temperature decreases an uranyl capability of forming the associates, thus lowering bound fractions/times and vice versa. The effect of pH was modeled by adding H+ or OH- ions to a "neutral" solution. The addition of hydroxide ions OH- favors the formation of the associates, thus increasing bound times and fractions. The extra H+ ions in a solution produce an opposite effect, thus lowering the uranyl association capability. We also made a structural analysis for all the observed associates to reveal the mutual orientation of the uranyl ions.

Key words: molecular dynamics, uranyl aqueous solution, association, pH, temperature
PACS: 61.20.Ja, 61.20.Qg, 82.20.Wt, 82.30.Hk, 82.30.Nr

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