Breakdown of Linear Dielectric Theory for the Interaction between Hydrated Ions and Graphene

Philip Loche, Cihan Ayaz, Alexander Schlaich, Douwe Jan Bonthuis, Roland R. Netz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many vital processes taking place in electrolytes, such as nanoparticle self-assembly, water purification, and the operation of aqueous supercapacitors, rely on the precise many-body interactions between surfaces and ions in water. Here we study the interaction between a hydrated ion and a charge-neutral graphene layer using atomistic molecular dynamics simulations. For small separations, the ion-graphene repulsion is of nonelectrostatic nature, and for intermediate separations, van der Waals attraction becomes important. Contrary to prevailing theory, we show that nonlinear and tensorial dielectric effects become non-negligible close to surfaces, even for monovalent ions. This breakdown of standard isotropic linear dielectric theory has important consequences for the understanding and modeling of charged objects at surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6463-6468
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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