The split of the 1b1 peak observed in the X-ray emission (XE) spectrum of liquid water has been the focus of intense research. Although several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the origin of this split, a consensus has not yet been reached. Here, we introduce a novel theoretical/computation approach which, combining path-integral molecular dynamics simulations with the MB-pol model and time-dependent density functional theory calculations, predicts the 1b1 splitting in liquid water and not in crystalline ice, in agreement with the experimental observations. A systematic analysis of the underlying local structure of liquid water at ambient conditions indicates that several different hydrogen-bonding motifs contribute to the overall XE line shape in the energy range corresponding to emissions from the 1b1 orbitals. This suggests that it is not possible to unambiguously attribute the split of the 1b1 peak to only two specific structural arrangements of the underlying hydrogen-bonding network.
Publication - Journal Article Relationship between Hydrogen-Bonding Motifs and the 1b1 Splitting in the X-ray Emission Spectrum of Liquid Water