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Keywords:

  • Proton hopping;
  • Cellular automata;
  • Hydrogen bonds

Abstract

Proton hopping is the process where a H-atom on a hydronium ion forms a H-bond with the O-atom of a neighboring H2O molecule. There is then an exchange of bonding forces when that covalent bond of the H-atom in the hydronium ion changes to a H-bond, and the previous H-bond changes to a covalent bond with the neighboring O-atom. The neighboring molecule now becomes a hydronium (H3O+) ion. This process repeats itself very rapidly among neighboring hydronium and H2O molecules. There is a flow of protonic character through bulk H2O, referred to as proton hopping. This process carries information through living systems where H2O is present. A cellular automata model of proton hopping down a channel has been created and studied. Variations in the rate of proton entry into the channel and the effects of the polar character of the channel walls was studied using the model. The behavior of the models corresponds to experimental results.