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J Chem Phys. 2014 Apr 14;140(14):144705. doi: 10.1063/1.4870417.

Molecular dynamics study of salt-solution interface: solubility and surface charge of salt in water.

Author information

1
Environment and Resource System Engineering, Kyoto University, Kyoto 615-8540, Japan.
2
Department of Energy and Hydrocarbon Chemistry, Kyoto University, Kyoto 615-8510, Japan.

Abstract

The NaCl salt-solution interface often serves as an example of an uncharged surface. However, recent laser-Doppler electrophoresis has shown some evidence that the NaCl crystal is positively charged in its saturated solution. Using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we have investigated the NaCl salt-solution interface system, and calculated the solubility of the salt using the direct method and free energy calculations, which are kinetic and thermodynamic approaches, respectively. The direct method calculation uses a salt-solution combined system. When the system is equilibrated, the concentration in the solution area is the solubility. In the free energy calculation, we separately calculate the chemical potential of NaCl in two systems, the solid and the solution, using thermodynamic integration with MD simulations. When the chemical potential of NaCl in the solution phase is equal to the chemical potential of the solid phase, the concentration of the solution system is the solubility. The advantage of using two different methods is that the computational methods can be mutually verified. We found that a relatively good estimate of the solubility of the system can be obtained through comparison of the two methods. Furthermore, we found using microsecond time-scale MD simulations that the positively charged NaCl surface was induced by a combination of a sodium-rich surface and the orientation of the interfacial water molecules.

PMID:
24735311
DOI:
10.1063/1.4870417
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