Prediction of EPR spectra of lyotropic liquid crystals using a combination of molecular dynamics simulations and the model-free approach

Christopher Prior, Vasily Oganesyan (Lead Author)

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We report the first application of fully atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to the prediction of the motional electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra of lyotropic liquid crystals in different aggregation states doped with a paramagnetic spin probe. The purpose of this study is twofold. First, given that EPR spectra are highly sensitive to the motions and order of the spin probes doped within lyotropic aggregates, simulation of EPR line shapes from the results of MD modelling provides an ultimate test bed for the force fields currently employed to model such systems. Second, the EPR line shapes are simulated using the motional parameters extracted from MD trajectories using the Model-Free (MF) approach. Thus a combined MD-EPR methodology allowed us to test directly the validity of the application of the MF approach to systems with multi-component molecular motions. All-atom MD simulations using the General AMBER Force Field (GAFF) have been performed on sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and dodecyltrimethylammonium chloride (DTAC) liquid crystals. The resulting MD trajectories were used to predict and interpret the EPR spectra of pre-micellar, micellar, rod and lamellar aggregates. The predicted EPR spectra demonstrate good agreement with most of experimental line shapes thus confirming the validity of both the force fields employed and the MF approach for the studied systems. At the same time simulation results confirm that GAFF tends to overestimate the packing and the order of the carbonyl chains of the surfactant molecules.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13192–13204
Number of pages13
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number53
Early online date24 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2017

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