Non-van der Waals treatment of the hydrophobic solubilities of CF 4

D. Asthagiri, H. S. Ashbaugh, A. Piryatinski, M. E. Paulaitis, L. R. Pratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


A quasi-chemical theory implemented on the basis of molecular simulation is derived and tested for the hydrophobic hydration of CF4(aq). The theory formulated here subsumes a van der Waals treatment of solvation and identifies contributions to the hydration free energy of CF4(aq) that naturally arise from chemical contributions defined by quasi-chemical theory and fluctuation contributions analogous to Debye-Hückel or random phase approximations. The resulting Gaussian statistical thermodynamic model avoids consideration of hypothetical drying-then-rewetting problems and is physically reliable in these applications as judged by the size of the fluctuation contribution. The specific results here confirm that unfavorable tails of binding energy distributions reflect few-body close solute-solvent encounters. The solvent near-neighbors are pushed by the medium into unfavorable interactions with the solute, in contrast to the alternative view that a preformed interface is pulled by the solute-solvent attractive interactions into contact with the solute. The polyatomic model of CF4(aq) studied gives a satisfactory description of the experimental solubilities including the temperature dependence. The proximal distributions evaluated here for polyatomic solutes accurately reconstruct the observed distributions of water near these molecules which are nonspherical. These results suggest that drying is not an essential consideration for the hydrophobic solubilities of CF4, or of C(CH3)4 which is more soluble.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10133-10140
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 22 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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