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Title: A matter of quantum voltages

Voltages inside matter are relevant to crystallization, materials science, biology, catalysis, and aqueous chemistry. The variation of voltages in matter can be measured by experiment, however, modern supercomputers allow the calculation of accurate quantum voltages with spatial resolutions of bulk systems well beyond what can currently be measured provided a sufficient level of theory is employed. Of particular interest is the Mean Inner Potential (V{sub o}) – the spatial average of these quantum voltages referenced to the vacuum. Here we establish a protocol to reliably evaluate V{sub o} from quantum calculations. Voltages are very sensitive to the distribution of electrons and provide metrics to understand interactions in condensed phases. In the present study, we find excellent agreement with measurements of V{sub o} for vitrified water and salt crystals and demonstrate the impact of covalent and ionic bonding as well as intermolecular/atomic interactions. Certain aspects in this regard are highlighted making use of simple model systems/approximations. Furthermore, we predict V{sub o} as well as the fluctuations of these voltages in aqueous NaCl electrolytes and characterize the changes in their behavior as the resolution increases below the size of atoms.
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Physical Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99352 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22310802
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 141; Journal Issue: 18; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; ATOMS; CRYSTALLIZATION; CRYSTALS; ELECTRIC POTENTIAL; ELECTROLYTES; ELECTRONS; INTERACTIONS