Understanding the Surface Potential of Water

Condensed Matter journal club

Understanding the Surface Potential of Water

  • Event time: 11:30am
  • Event date: 7th February 2014
  • Speaker: Flaviu Cipcigan (Formerly School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details


We have resolved the inconsistency in quantifying the surface vapor interface when using explicit ab initio electronic charge density and effective atomic partial charge models of liquid water. This is related, in part, to the fact that the resulting electric potentials from partial-charge models and ab initio charge distributions are quite different except for those regions of space between the molecules. We show that the electrostatic surface potential from a quantum mechanical charge distribution compares well to high-energy electron diffraction and electron holography measurements, as opposed to the comparison with electrochemical measurements. We suggest that certain regions of space be excluded when comparing computed surface potentials with electrochemical measurements. This work describes a novel interpretation of ab initio computed surface potentials through high-energy electron holography measurements as useful benchmarks toward a better understanding of electrochemistry.
Journal of Physical Chemsitry B 115 pages 4369-4377 (2011)
pdf version


Shawn M. Kathmann, I-Feng William Kuo, Christopher J. Mundy, Gregory K. Schenter