Ab initio simulations of the electrochemical activation of water

C. D. Taylor, M. J. Janik, M. Neurock, R. G. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


First principles periodic density functional theory (DFT) has been applied to simulate the electrochemical interface between water and various (111) metal surfaces. The chemistry of water at these electrified interfaces is simulated and the parameters relevant to the macroscopic behavior of the interface, such as the capacitance and the potential of zero charge (PZC) are examined. In addition, we examine the influence of co-adsorbed CO upon the equilibrium potential for the activation of water over Pt(111). We find that for copper and platinum there is a potential window over which water is inert, but on Ni(111) water is always found in some dissociated form (as adsorbed OH* or H*, depending on the applied potential). Furthermore, the relaxation of water molecules via the flip/flop rotation is an important contribution to the interfacial capacitance. Our calculations for the coadsorbed H2O/CO system indicate that the adsorption of CO affects the binding energy of OH, such that water activation occurs at a higher equilibrium potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-436
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Simulation
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - Apr 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Information Systems
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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