Vibrational spectra of anhydrous and monohydrated caffeine and theophylline molecules and crystals. Academic Article uri icon


  • Density functional theory and classical molecular dynamics simulations are used to investigate the vibrational spectra of caffeine and theophylline anhydrous and monohydrate molecules and those of their crystalline anhydrous and monohydrated states, with emphasis in the terahertz region of the spectra. To better understand the influence of water in the monohydrate crystal spectra, we analyze the vibrational spectra of water monomer, dimer, tetramer, and pentamer, and also those of liquid water at two different temperatures. In small water clusters, we observe the progressive addition of translational and librational modes to the terahertz region of the spectra. The water spectra predicted by rigid and flexible water models is examined with classical molecular dynamics, and the respective peaks, especially in the terahertz region, are compared with those found in the small clusters. Similar analysis done for caffeine and theophylline monohydrate molecules using density functional theory clearly shows the presence of water modes in the librational states and in the water stretching region. Molecular dynamics of caffeine and theophylline anhydrous and monohydrate crystals reveal the influence of vibrations from the molecule-molecule (caffeine or theophylline) crystal stacks and those from the water-molecule interactions found in the monohydrate molecules and new modes from molecule-molecule, water-molecule, and water-water hydrogen bonding interactions arising from collective effects in the crystal structure. Findings illustrate challenges of terahertz technology for the detection of specific substances in condensed phases.

published proceedings

  • J Phys Chem A

author list (cited authors)

  • Balbuena, P. B., Blocker, W., Dudek, R. M., Cabrales-Navarro, F. A., & Hirunsit, P.

citation count

  • 24

complete list of authors

  • Balbuena, Perla B||Blocker, Wendy||Dudek, Rachel M||Cabrales-Navarro, Fredy A||Hirunsit, Pussana

publication date

  • October 2008