Volume 136, Issue 18, 14 May 2012
Index of content:
Ions with like-charges repel each other with a magnitude given by the Coulomb law. The repulsion is also known to persist in aqueous solutions albeit factored by the medium's dielectric constant. In this paper, we report results from molecular dynamics simulations of alkali halides salt solutions indicating an effective attraction between some of the like-charged monovalent ions. The attraction is observed between anions, as well as between cations, leading to the formation of dimers with lifetimes on the order of few picoseconds. Two mechanisms have been identified to drive this counterintuitive attraction. The first is exhibited by high-charge density ions, such as fluoride, at low salt concentrations, yielding effective attractions with magnitude up to the order of 1–2 kT. In this case, the stronger local electric field generated when the two ions are in contact augments the alignment of neighboring waters toward the ions. This results in a gain of substantial favorable ion-water interactionenergy. For fluorides, this interaction constitutes the major change among the different energy components compensating for the anion-anion repulsion, and therefore, rendering like-charge association possible. The second mechanism involves mediation by counterions, the attractions increase with salt concentration and are characterized by small magnitudes. In particular, clusters of ion triplets, in which a counterion is either bridging the two like-charged ions or is paired to only one of them, are formed. Although these two mechanisms may not yield net attractions in many cases, they might still be operational and significant, explaining effective repulsions between like-charged ions with magnitudes much smaller than expected based on continuum electrostatics.
Communication: Electronic band gaps of semiconducting zig-zag carbon nanotubes from many-body perturbation theory calculations136(2012); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4716178View Description Hide Description
Electronic band gaps for optically allowed transitions are calculated for a series of semiconducting single-walled zig-zag carbon nanotubes of increasing diameter within the many-body perturbationtheory GW method. The dependence of the evaluated gaps with respect to tube diameters is then compared with those found from previous experimental data for optical gaps combined with theoretical estimations of exciton binding energies. We find that our GW gaps confirm the behavior inferred from experiment. The relationship between the electronic gap and the diameter extrapolated from the GW values is also in excellent agreement with a direct measurement recently performed through scanning tunneling spectroscopy.