The water-amorphous silica interface: Analysis of the Stern layer and surface conduction

Hui Zhang, Ali A. Hassanali, Yun Kyung Shin, Chris Knight, Sherwin J. Singer

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70 Scopus citations


To explain why dynamical properties of an aqueous electrolyte near a charged surface seem to be governed by a surface charge less than the actual one, the canonical Stern model supposes an interfacial layer of ions and immobile fluid. However, large ion mobilities within the Stern layer are needed to reconcile the Stern model with surface conduction measurements. Modeling the aqueous electrolyte-amorphous silica interface at typical charge densities, a prototypical double layer system, the flow velocity does not vanish until right at the surface. The Stern model is a good effective model away from the surface, but cannot be taken literally near the surface. Indeed, simulations show no ion mobility where water is immobile, nor is such mobility necessary since the surface conductivity in the simulations is comparable to experimental values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024705
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 14 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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