Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Chemical Physics



First Page


DOI of Original Publication


This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing. This article appeared in J. Chem. Phys. 150, 164702 (2019) and may be found at

Date of Submission

May 2022


Molecular polarization at aqueous interfaces involves fast degrees of freedom that are often averaged-out in atomistic-modeling approaches. The resulting effective interactions depend on a specific environment, making explicit account of molecular polarizability particularly important in solutions with pronounced anisotropic perturbations, including solid/liquid interfaces and external fields. Our work concerns polarizability effects in nanoscale confinements under electric field, open to an unperturbed bulk environment. We model aqueous molecules and ions in hydrophobic pores using the Gaussian-charge-on-spring BK3-AH representation. This involves nontrivial methodology devel- opments in expanded ensemble Monte Carlo simulations for open systems with long-ranged multibody interactions and necessitates further improvements for efficient modeling of polarizable ions. Structural differences between fixed-charge and polarizable models were captured in molecular dynamics simulations for a set of closed systems. Our open ensemble results with the BK3 model in neat-aqueous systems capture the ∼10% reduction of molecular dipoles within the surface layer near the hydrophobic pore walls in analogy to reported quantum mechanical calculations at water/vapor interfaces. The polarizability affects the interfacial dielectric behavior and weakens the electric-field dependence of water absorption at pragmatically relevant porosities. We observe moderate changes in thermodynamic properties and atom and charged-site spatial distributions; the Gaussian distribution of mobile charges on water and ions in the polarizable model shifts the density amplitudes and blurs the charge-layering effects associated with increased ion absorption. The use of polarizable force field indicates an enhanced response of interfacial ion distributions to applied electric field, a feature potentially important for in silico modeling of electric double layer capacitors.


© 2019 Author(s).

Is Part Of

VCU Chemistry Publications

Included in

Chemistry Commons