Mean Inner Potential of Liquid Water

Murat Nulati Yesibolati, Simone Lagana, Hongyu Sun, Marco Beleggia, Shawn M. Kathmann*, Takeshi Kasama, Kristian Mølhave

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Improving our experimental and theoretical knowledge of electric potentials at liquid-solid boundaries is essential to achieve a deeper understanding of the driving forces behind interfacial processes. Electron holography has proved successful in probing solid-solid interfaces but requires knowledge of the materials’
mean inner potential (MIP, V0), which is a fundamental bulk material property. Combining off-axis electron holography with liquid phase transmission electron microscopy (LPTEM), we provide the first quantitative MIP determination of liquid water V0 ¼ þ4.48 0.19 V. This value is larger than most theoretical predictions, and to explain the disagreement we assess the dominant factors needed in quantum simulations of liquid water. A precise MIP lays the foundations for nanoscale holographic potential measurements in liquids, and provides a benchmark to improve quantum mechanical descriptions of aqueous systems and their interfaces in, e.g., electrochemistry, solvation processes, and spectroscopy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number065502
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number6
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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