Solvent impact on interfacial symmetry published in J. Chem. Phys.

Solvent asymmetry

R. Sundararaman and K. Schwarz, “Solvent effects determine the sign of the charges of maximum entropy and capacitance at silver electrodes”, J. Chem. Phys. 158, 121102 (2023)

Fully harnessing electrochemical interfaces for reactions requires a detailed understanding of solvent effects in the electrochemical double layer. Predicting the significant impact of solvents on entropic and electronic properties of electrochemical interfaces has remained an open challenge of computational electrochemistry. Using molecular dynamics simulations of silver–water and silver–acetonitrile interfaces, we show that switching the solvent changes the signs for both the charge of maximum capacitance (CMC) and charge of maximum entropy (CME). Contrasting the capacitance and CME behavior of these two interfaces, we demonstrate that the preferred orientation of the solvent molecule and the corresponding charge density determine the sign of the CMC and CME and, hence, the qualitatively different charge asymmetry of the electrochemical interface.