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Title: First principles modeling of the metal-electrolyte interface: A novel approach to the study of the electrochemical interface

The research objective of this proposal is the computational modeling of the metal-electrolyte interface purely from first principles. The accurate calculation of the electrostatic potential at electrically biased metal-electrolyte interfaces is a current challenge for periodic “ab-initio” simulations. It is also an essential requisite for predicting the correspondence between the macroscopic voltage and the microscopic interfacial charge distribution in electrochemical fuel cells. This interfacial charge distribution is the result of the chemical bonding between solute and metal atoms, and therefore cannot be accurately calculated with the use of semi-empirical classical force fields. The project aims to study in detail the structure and dynamics of aqueous electrolytes at metallic interfaces taking into account the effect of the electrode potential. Another side of the project is to produce an accurate method to simulate the water/metal interface. While both experimental and theoretical surface scientists have made a lot of progress on the understanding and characterization of both atomistic structures and reactions at the solid/vacuum interface, the theoretical description of electrochemical interfaces is still lacking behind. A reason for this is that a complete and accurate first principles description of both the liquid and the metal interfaces is still computationally too expensive and complex,more » since their characteristics are governed by the explicit atomic and electronic structure built at the interface as a response to environmental conditions. This project will characterize in detail how different theoretical levels of modeling describer the metal/water interface. In particular the role of van der Waals interactions will be carefully analyzed and prescriptions to perform accurate simulations will be produced.« less
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  1. Stony Brook Univ., NY (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Stony Brook Univ., NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE Density functional Theory; Electrochemistry; catalysis; water