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Theoretical advances in aqueous ion solvation: Charge asymmetry

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The solvation of ions in water plays an important role in numerous processes, such as the denaturing of proteins, electrochemical reactions and desalination. Despite being studied extensively for more than a century, even the simplest process — the solvation of a small spherical ion in water — is still a challenge for theory. For example, it is observed empirically that anions tend to be solvated much more favorably than cations of a similar size, a phenomenon that is not captured by standard dielectric continuum theories (DCT). In this talk, I will show that a suitably constrained quadrupole field (in addition to the dipole field that is usually modeled by DCT ) can lead to a simple theory resembling the Born model that accurately describes aqueous ion solvation.

This talk is part of the Theoretical Chemistry Informal Seminars series.

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