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Durham University

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Publication details for Prof. Ivana Evans

Frantsuzov, I., Ford, S.J., Radosavljevic Evans, I., Horsewill, A.J., Trommsdorff, H.P. & Johnson, M.R. (2014). Measurement of proton tunneling in short hydrogen bonds in single crystals of 3,5 pyridinedicarboxylic acid using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Physical Review Letters 113(1): 018301.

Author(s) from Durham


In this Letter, we present NMR spin-lattice and relaxometry data for proton transfer in one of the shortest known N−H⋯O hydrogen bonds in a single crystal of 3,5 pyridinedicarboxylic acid (35PDCA). It is widely believed that proton transfer by quantum tunneling does not occur in short hydrogen bonds since the ground state energy level lies above the potential barrier, yet these data show a temperature independent, proton tunneling rate below 77 K and a clear deviation from classical dynamics below 91 K. This study therefore suggests that proton tunneling occurs in all hydrogen bonds at low temperature and the crossover temperature to classical hopping must be determined when evaluating whether proton tunneling persists at higher temperature, for example in enzyme catalysis under physiological conditions.