Electric potential calculation in molecular simulation of electric double layer capacitors

ZX Wang and DL Olmsted and M Asta and BB Laird, JOURNAL OF PHYSICS- CONDENSED MATTER, 28, 464006 (2016).

DOI: 10.1088/0953-8984/28/46/464006

For the molecular simulation of electric double layer capacitors (EDLCs), a number of methods have been proposed and implemented to determine the one-dimensional electric potential profile between the two electrodes at a fixed potential difference. In this work, we compare several of these methods for a model LiClO4-acetonitrile/graphite EDLC simulated using both the traditional fixed-charged method (FCM), in which a fixed charge is assigned a priori to the electrode atoms, or the recently developed constant potential method (CPM) (2007 J. Chem. Phys. 126 084704), where the electrode charges are allowed to fluctuate to keep the potential fixed. Based on an analysis of the full three- dimensional electric potential field, we suggest a method for determining the averaged one-dimensional electric potential profile that can be applied to both the FCM and CPM simulations. Compared to traditional methods based on numerically solving the one-dimensional Poisson's equation, this method yields better accuracy and no supplemental assumptions.

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