A method for treating the passage of a charged hard sphere ion as it passes through a sharp dielectric boundary

Dezsö Boda, Douglas Henderson, Bob Eisenberg, Dirk Gillespie

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In the implicit solvent models of electrolytes (such as the primitive model (PM)), the ions are modeled as point charges in the centers of spheres (hard spheres in the case of the PM). The surfaces of the spheres are not polarizable which makes these models appropriate to use in computer simulations of electrolyte systems where these ions do not leave their host dielectrics. The same assumption makes them inappropriate in simulations where these ions cross dielectric boundaries because the interaction energy of the point charge with the polarization charge induced on the dielectric boundary diverges. In this paper, we propose a procedure to treat the passage of such ions through dielectric interfaces with an interpolation method. Inspired by the bubble ion model (in which the ions surface is polarizable), we define a space-dependent effective dielectric coefficient, ∈eff(r), for the ion that overlaps with the dielectric boundary. Then, we replace the bubble ion with a point charge that has an effective charge q/eff(r) and remove the portion of the dielectric boundary where the ion overlaps with it. We implement the interpolation procedure using the induced charge computation method [D. Boda, D. Gillespie, W. Nonner, D. Henderson, and B. Eisenberg, Phys. Rev. E 69, 046702 (2004)]. We analyze the various energy terms using a spherical ion passing through an infinite flat dielectric boundary as an example.

Original languageEnglish
Article number064105
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 14 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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