Ultrafast Rotational and Translational Energy Relaxation in Neat Liquids

Jakob Petersen*, Klaus B. Møller*, James T. Hynes*, Rossend Rey*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The excess energy flow pathways during rotational and translational relaxation induced by rotational or translational excitation of a single molecule of and within each of four different neat liquids (H2O, MeOH, CCl4, and CH4) are studied using classical molecular dynamics simulations and energy flux analysis. For all four liquids, the relaxation processes for both types of excitation are ultrafast, but the energy flow is significantly faster for the polar, hydrogen-bonded (H-bonded) liquids H2O and MeOH. Whereas the majority of the initial excess energy is transferred into hindered rotations (librations) for rotational excitation in the H-bonded liquids, an almost equal efficiency for transfer to translational and rotational motions is observed in the nonpolar, non-H-bonded liquids CCl4 and CH4. For translational excitation, transfer to translational motions dominates for all liquids. In general, the energy flows are quite local; i.e., more than 70% of the energy flows directly to the first solvent shell molecules, reaching almost 100% for CCl4 and CH4. Finally, the determined validity of linear response theory for these nonequilibrium relaxation processes is quite solvent-dependent, with the deviation from linear response most marked for rotational excitation and for the nonpolar liquids.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Part B: Condensed Matter, Materials, Surfaces, Interfaces & Biophysical
Issue number46
Pages (from-to)12806–12819
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Published as part of The Journal of Physical Chemistry virtual special issue “Dor Ben-Amotz Festschrift”.


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