Bigger is better: Proton transfer in the electronic ground state for (C6H5NH−)⋅ (H2O)n has been investigated by photoelectron spectroscopy. At a critical size of n=3, one proton of a water molecule is captured by the deprotonated aniline to form solvated OH− (see picture). These experimental observations are supported by ab initio calculations that establish the greater stability of the solvated OH− anion for n≥3.
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