Tunneling and delocalization effects in hydrogen bonded systems: A study in position and momentum space

Joseph A. Morrone, Lin Lin, Roberto Car

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Novel experimental and computational studies have uncovered the proton momentum distribution in hydrogen bonded systems. In this work, we utilize recently developed open path integral Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics methodology in order to study the momentum distribution in phases of high pressure ice. Some of these phases exhibit symmetric hydrogen bonds and quantum tunneling. We find that the symmetric hydrogen bonded phase possesses a narrowed momentum distribution as compared with a covalently bonded phase, in agreement with recent experimental findings. The signatures of tunneling that we observe are a narrowed distribution in the low-to-intermediate momentum region, with a tail that extends to match the result of the covalently bonded state. The transition to tunneling behavior shows similarity to features observed in recent experiments performed on confined water. We corroborate our ice simulations with a study of a particle in a model one-dimensional double well potential that mimics some of the effects observed in bulk simulations. The temperature dependence of the momentum distribution in the one-dimensional model allows for the differentiation between ground state and mixed state tunneling effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number204511
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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