The orientational relaxation dynamics of water confined between mica surfaces is investigated using molecular dynamics simulations. The study illustrates the wide heterogeneity that exists in the dynamics of water adjacent to a strongly hydrophilic surface such as mica. Analysis of the survival probabilities in different layers is carried out by normalizing the corresponding relaxation times with bulk water layers of similar thickness. A 10-fold increase in the survival times is observed for water directly in contact with the mica surface and a non-monotonic variation in the survival times is observed moving away from the mica surface to the bulk-like interior. The orientational relaxation time is highest for water in the contact layer, decreasing monotonically away from the surface. In all cases the ratio of the relaxation times of the 1st and 2nd rank Legendre polynomials of the HH bond vector is found to lie between 1.5 and 1.9 indicating that the reorientational relaxation in the different water layers is governed by jump dynamics. The orientational dynamics of water in the contact layer is particularly novel and is found to undergo distinct two-dimensional hydrogen bond jump reorientational dynamics with an average waiting time of 4.97 ps. The waiting time distribution is found to possess a long tail extending beyond 15 ps. Unlike previously observed jump dynamics in bulk water and other surfaces, jump events in the mica contact layer occur between hydrogen bonds formed by the water molecule and acceptor oxygens on the mica surface. Despite slowing down of the water orientational relaxation near the surface, life-times of water in the hydration shell of the K(+) ion are comparable to that observed in bulk salt solutions.
Ateeque Malani, K. Ayappa
The Journal of chemical physics