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Research article2020Peer reviewed

Elusive Coordination of the Ag+ Ion in Aqueous Solution: Evidence for a Linear Structure

Busato, Matteo; Melchior, Andrea; Migliorati, Valentina; Colella, Andrea; Persson, Ingmar; Mancini, Giordano; Veclani, Daniele; D'Angelo, Paola


X ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) has been employed to study the coordination of the Ag+ ion in aqueous solution. The conjunction of extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) and X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) data analysis provided results suggesting the preference for a first shell linear coordination with a mean Ag-O bond distance of 2.34(2) angstrom, different from the first generally accepted tetrahedral model with a longer mean Ag-O bond distance. Ab initio molecular dynamics simulations with the Car-Parrinello approach (CPMD) were also performed and were able to describe the coordination of the hydrated Ag+ ion in aqueous solution in very good agreement with the experimental data. The high sensitivity for the closest environment of the photoabsorber of the EXAFS and XANES techniques, together with the long-range information provided by CPMD and large-angle X-ray scattering (LAXS), allowed us to reconstruct the three-dimensional model of the coordination geometry around the Ag+ ion in aqueous solution. The obtained results from experiments and theoretical simulations provided a complex picture with a certain amount of water molecules with high configurational disorder at distances comprised between the first and second hydration spheres. This evidence may have caused the proliferation of the coordination numbers that have been proposed so far for Ag+ in water. Altogether these data show how the description of the hydration of the Ag+ ion in aqueous solution can be complex, differently from other metal species where hydration structures can be described by clusters with well-defined geometries. This diffuse hydration shell causes the Ag-O bond distance in the linear [Ag(H2O)(2)](+) ion to be ca. 0.2 angstrom longer than in isolated ions in solid state.

Published in

Inorganic Chemistry
2020, Volume: 59, number: 23, pages: 17291-17302

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    Inorganic Chemistry

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