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Journal Article

Influence of methylene fluorination and chain length on the hydration shell structure and thermodynamics of linear diols


Robalo,  João Ramiro
Ana Vila Verde, Theorie & Bio-Systeme, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Robalo, J. R., Mendes de Oliveira, D., Ben-Amotz, D., & Vila Verde, A. (2021). Influence of methylene fluorination and chain length on the hydration shell structure and thermodynamics of linear diols. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 125(49), 13552-13564. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcb.1c08601.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-AC25-C
The interplay between the local hydration shell structure, the length of hydrophobic solutes, and their identity (perfluorinated or not) remains poorly understood. We address this issue by combining Raman–multivariate curve resolution (Raman-MCR) spectroscopy, simulation, and quantum-mechanical calculations to quantify the thermodynamics and the first principle interactions behind the formation of defects in the hydration shell of alkyl–diol and perfluoroalkyl–diol chains. The hydration shell of the fluorinated diols contains substantially more defects than that of the nonfluorinated diols; these defects are water hydroxy groups that do not donate hydrogen bonds and which either point to the solute (radial-dangling OH) or not (nonradial-dangling OH). The number of radial-dangling OH defects per carbon decreases for longer chains and toward the interior of the fluorinated diols, mainly due to less favorable electrostatics and exchange interactions; nonradial-dangling OH defects per carbon increase with chain length. In contrast, the hydration shell of the nonfluorinated diols only contains radial-dangling defects, which become more abundant toward the center of the chain and for larger chains, predominantly because of more favorable dispersion interactions. These results have implications for how the folding of macromolecules, ligand binding to biomacromolecules, and chemical reactions at water–oil interfaces could be modified through the introduction of fluorinated groups or solvents.