The structural, dynamical, and energetic properties of the excess proton in ice were studied using density-functional tight-binding molecular dynamics simulations. The ice systems investigated herein consisted of low-density hexagonal and cubic crystalline variants (ice Ih and Ic) and high-density structures (ice III and melted ice VI). Analysis of the temperature dependence of radial distribution function and bond order parameters served to characterize the distribution and configuration of hundreds of water molecules in a unit cell. We confirmed that ice Ih and Ic possess higher hexagonal symmetries than ice III and melted ice VI. The estimated Grotthuss shuttling diffusion coefficients in ice were larger than that of liquid water, indicating a slower proton diffusion process in high-density structures than in low-density systems. The energy barriers calculated on the basis of the Arrhenius plot of diffusion coefficients were in reasonable agreement with experimental measurement for ice Ih. Furthermore, the energy barriers for high-density structures were several times larger than those of low-density systems. The simulation results were likely related to the suppression of proton transfer in disordered water configurations, in particular, ice with low hexagonal symmetry.
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