IR and Raman spectra of liquid water: theory and interpretation.

Research paper by B M BM Auer, J L JL Skinner

Indexed on: 17 Jun '08Published on: 17 Jun '08Published in: The Journal of chemical physics


IR and Raman (parallel- and perpendicular-polarized) spectra in the OH stretch region for liquid water were measured some years ago, but their interpretation is still controversial. In part, this is because theoretical calculation of such spectra for a neat liquid presents a formidable challenge due to the coupling between vibrational chromophores and the effects of motional narrowing. Recently we proposed an electronic structure/molecular dynamics method for calculating spectra of dilute HOD in liquid D(2)O, which relied on ab initio calculations on clusters to provide a map from nuclear coordinates of the molecules in the liquid to OH stretch frequencies, transition dipoles, and polarizabilities. Here we extend this approach to the calculation of couplings between chromophores. From the trajectories of the fluctuating local-mode frequencies, transition moments, and couplings, we use our recently developed time-averaging approximation to calculate the line shapes. Our results are in good agreement with experiment for the IR and Raman line shapes, and capture the significant differences among them. Our analysis shows that while the coupling between chromophores is relatively modest, it nevertheless produces delocalization of the vibrational eigenstates over up to 12 chromophores, which has a profound effect on the spectroscopy. In particular, our results demonstrate that the peak in the parallel-polarized Raman spectrum at about 3250 wavenumbers is collective in nature.