WIAS Preprint No. 2640, (2019)

Modeling polycrystalline electrode-electrolyte interfaces: The differential capacitance


  • Fuhrmann, Jürgen
    ORCID: 0000-0003-4432-2434
  • Landstorfer, Manuel
  • Müller, Rüdiger
    ORCID: 0000-0003-2643-722X

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 65N30 78A57 80A17


  • Electrochemistry, double layer, polycrystal, finite-elements, stochastic representation




We present and analyze a model for polycrystalline electrode surfaces based on an improved continuum model that takes finite ion size and solvation into account. The numerical simulation of finite size facet patterns allows to study two limiting cases: While for facet size diameter $d^facet to 0$ we get the typical capacitance of a spatially homogeneous but possible amorphous or liquid surface, in the limit $L^Debye << d^facet$ , an ensemble of non-interacting single crystal surfaces is approached. Already for moderate size of the facet diameters, the capacitance is remarkably well approximated by the classical approach of adding the single crystal capacities of the contributing facets weighted by their respective surface fraction. As a consequence, the potential of zero charge is not necessarily attained at a local minimum of capacitance, but might be located at a local capacitance maximum instead. Moreover, the results show that surface roughness can be accurately taken into account by multiplication of the ideally flat polycrystalline surface capacitance with a single factor. In particular, we find that the influence of the actual geometry of the facet pattern in negligible and our theory opens the way to a stochastic description of complex real polycrystal surfaces.

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