Edinburgh Research Explorer

Potential-Induced Ordering Transition of the Adsorbed Layer at the Ionic Liquid/Electrified Metal Interface

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Sami Tazi
  • Mathieu Salanne
  • Christian Simon
  • Pierre Tury
  • Michael Pounds
  • Paul A. Madden

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8453-8459
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010


The potential-driven ordering transition of a LiCl layer adsorbed on the (100) surface of a metallic aluminum electrode is studied by molecular dynamics simulations. The transition causes a sharp peak in the potential dependence of the differential capacitance of the interface. This result is in qualitative agreement with recently reported experimental work on the interface between a room temperature ionic liquid and a well-defined Au(100) surface. In the LiCl/Al simulations, the transition occurs when the interaction model includes the induction of dipoles on the ions of the liquid by their mutual interaction and their interaction with the electrode surface as well as the polarization of the metal by the charges and dipoles on the ions ("image" interactions). When the electrode or ion polarization effects are not included, the transition is no longer observed. The interaction between the induced charges on the metal atoms and the induced dipoles on the ions creates an additional screening, which stabilizes the formation of a crystalline layer at the anode. When the crystallographic plane of the metal is changed to (110) instead of (100), the two first adsorbed layer are crystalline on both the anode and the cathode, but the structure is different: the crystal is formed through an epitaxial mechanism to adapt to the electrode surface structure. In the case of the (110) crystallographic plane, the charging of the adsorbed layer occurs through the formation of nonstoichiometric crystalline layers.

ID: 2601062