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Molecular Dynamics and Neutron Scattering Studies of Mixed Solutions of Caffeine and Pyridine in Water

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Letizia Tavagnacco
  • Philip E. Mason
  • George W. Neilson
  • Marie Louise Saboungi
  • Attilio Cesàro
  • John W. Brady
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5308-5315
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number21
DatePublished - 31 May 2018


Insight into the molecular interactions of homotactic and heterotactic association of caffeine and pyridine in aqueous solution is given on the basis of both experimental and simulation studies. Caffeine is about 5 times more soluble in a 3 m aqueous pyridine solution than it is in pure water (an increase from ∼0.1 m to 0.5 m). At this elevated concentration the system becomes suitable for neutron scattering study. Caffeine-pyridine interactions were studied by neutron scattering and molecular dynamics simulations, allowing a detailed characterization of the spatial and orientational structure of the solution. It was found that while pyridine-caffeine interactions are not as strong as caffeine-caffeine interactions, the pyridine-caffeine interactions still significantly disrupted caffeine-caffeine stacking. The alteration of the caffeine-caffeine stacking, occasioned by the presence of pyridine molecules in solution and the consequent formation of heterotactic interactions, leads to the experimentally detected increase in caffeine solubility.



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