Charge equilibration model with shielded long-range Coulomb for reactive molecular dynamics simulations

Udoka Nwankwo, Yi Di Wang, Chi Hang Lam, Nicolas Onofrio

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Atomic description of electrochemical systems requires reactive interaction potential to explicitly describe the chemistry between atoms and molecules and the evolving charge distribution and polarization effects. Calculating Coulomb electrostatic interactions and polarization effects requires a better estimate of the partial charge distribution in molecular systems. However, models such as reactive force fields and charge equilibration (QEq) include Coulomb interactions up to a short-distance cutoff for better computational speeds. Ignoring long-distance electrostatic interaction affects the ability to describe electrochemistry in large systems. We studied the long-range Coulomb effects among charged particles and extended the QEq method to include long-range effects. By this extension, we anticipate a proper account of Coulomb interactions in reactive molecular dynamics simulations. We validate the approach by computing charges on a series of metal-organic frameworks and some simple systems. Results are compared to regular QEq and quantum mechanics calculations. The study shows slightly overestimated charge values in the regular QEq approach. Moreover, our method was combined with Ewald summation to compute forces and evaluate the long-range effects of simple capacitor configurations. There were noticeable differences between the calculated charges with/without long-range Coulomb interactions. The difference, which may have originated from the long-range influence on the capacitor ions, makes the Ewald method a better descriptor of Coulomb electrostatics for charged electrodes. The approach explored in this study enabled the atomic description of electrochemical systems with realistic electrolyte thickness while accounting for the electrostatic effects of charged electrodes throughout the dielectric layer in devices like batteries and emerging solid-state memory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number044104
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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