Complex Dynamics of Water in Protein Confinement

Daniel R. Martin, James E. Forsmo, Dmitry Matyushov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This paper studies single-molecule and collective dynamics of water confined in protein powders by means of molecular dynamics simulations. The single-particle dynamics show a modest retardation compared to the bulk but become highly stretched in the powder, with the stretching exponent of ≃0.2. The collective dynamics of the total water dipole are affected by intermolecular correlations inside water and by cross-correlations between the water and the protein. The dielectric spectrum of water in the powder has two nearly equal-amplitude peaks: a Debye peak with ≃16 ps relaxation time and a highly stretched peak with the relaxation time of ≃13 ns and a stretching exponent of ≃0.12. The slower relaxation component is not seen in the single-molecule correlation functions and can be assigned to elastic protein motions displacing water in the powder. The loss spectrum of the intermediate scattering function reported by neutron-scattering experiments is also highly stretched, with the high-frequency wing scaling according to a power law. Translational dynamics can become much slower in the powder than in the bulk but are overshadowed by the rotational loss in the overall loss spectrum of neutron scattering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3418-3425
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number13
StatePublished - Apr 5 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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