Modeling proton transfer to charged silver electrodes
Density functional theory (DFT) and molecular dynamics (MD) techniques are used to study proton transfer from an aqueous solution to an Ag(1 1 1) surface. DFT is applied to study Ag–water and Ag–hydronium interactions as well as proton transfer for small systems based on the cluster model. The data gained are then used to adjust an empirical Ag–water interaction potential and to reparametrize an empirical valence-bond (EVB) model, which has been successfully applied for the study of proton transfer to a Pt(1 1 1) surface before. Employing these force fields in MD simulations enables dynamic modeling of the electrolyte–metal interface on a scale large enough to give realistic results. Results from a MD trajectory study on Ag(1 1 1) are reported and compared to the analogous study for platinum. Low discharge rates on Ag(1 1 1) are observed, and the potential range for hydrogen evolution can be estimated. The different behavior relative to Pt(1 1 1) can be traced to features of the respective potential energy surfaces and to the different structural properties of the aqueous/metallic interfaces.
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