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Single-Ion Solvation Free Energies and the Normal Hydrogen Electrode in Methanol, Acetonitrile, and Dimethyl Sulfoxide

Kelly, C. P.; Cramer, C. J.; Truhlar, D. G.
J. Phys. Chem. B 2007, 111, 408.

The division of thermodynamic solvation free energies of electrolytes into ionic constituents is conventionally accomplished by using the single-ion solvation free energy of one reference ion, conventionally the proton, to set the single-ion scales. Thus the determination of the free energy of solvation of the proton in various solvents is a fundamental issue of central importance in solution chemistry. In the present article, relative solvation free energies of ions and ion-solvent clusters in methanol, acetonitrile, and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) have been determined using a combination of experimental and theoretical gas-phase free energies of formation, solution-phase reduction potentials and acid dissociation constants, and gas-phase clustering free energies. Applying the cluster pair approximation to differences between these relative solvation free energies leads to values of -263.5, -260.2, and -273.3 kcal/mol for the absolute solvation free energy of the proton in methanol, acetonitrile, and DMSO, respectively. The final absolute proton solvation free energies are used to assign absolute values for the normal hydrogen electrode potential and the solvation free energies of other single ions in the above solvents.

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