Superprotonic phase transition of CsHSO4: A molecular dynamics simulation study

Calum R I Chisholm, Yun Hee Jang, Sossina M. Haile, William A. Goddard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The superprotonic phase transition (phase II → phase I; 414 K) of cesium hydrogen sulfate, CsHSO4, was simulated using molecular dynamics with the "first principles" MSXX force field (FF). The structure, binding energy, and vibrational frequencies of the CsHSO4 monomer, the binding energy of the (H2SO4)2 dimer, and the torsion barrier of the HSO4- ion were determined from quantum mechanical calculations, and the parameters of the Dreiding FF for Cs, S, O, and H adjusted to reproduce these quantities. Each hydrogen atom was treated as bonded exclusively to a single oxygen atom (proton donor), but allowed to form hydrogen bonds to various second nearest oxygen atoms (proton acceptors). Fixed temperature-pressure (NPT) dynamics were employed to study the structure as a function of temperature from 298 to 723 K. In addition, the influence of several force field parameters, including the hydrogen torsional barrier height, hydrogen bond strength, and oxygen charge distribution, on the structural behavior of CsHSO4 was probed. Although the FF does not allow proton migration (i.e., proton jumps) between oxygen atoms, a clear phase transition occurred as demonstrated by a discrete change of unit cell symmetry (monoclinic to tetragonal), cell volume, and molar enthalpy. The dynamics of the HSO4- group reorientational motion also changed dramatically at the transition. The observation of a transition to the expected tetragonal phase using a FF in which protons cannot migrate indicates that proton diffusion does not drive the transition to the superprotonic phase. Rather, high conductivity is a consequence of the rapid reorientations that occur in the high temperature phase. Furthermore, because no input from the superprotonic phase was employed in these simulations, it may be possible to employ MD to hypothesize superprotonic materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number134103
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number13
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Superprotonic phase transition of CsHSO4: A molecular dynamics simulation study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this