Conditions for electroneutrality breakdown in nanopores

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Abstract

It has recently been suggested that a breakdown of electroneutrality occurs in highly confined nanopores that are encompassed by a dielectric material. This work elucidates the conditions for this breakdown. We show that the breakdown within the pore results from the response of the electric field within the dielectric. Namely, we show that this response is highly sensitive to the boundary condition at the dielectric edge. The standard Neumann boundary condition of no-flux predicts that the breakdown does not occur. However, a Dirichlet boundary condition for a zero-potential predicts a breakdown. Within this latter scenario, the breakdown exhibits a dependence on the thickness of the dielectric material. Specifically, infinite thickness dielectrics do not exhibit a breakdown, while dielectrics of finite thickness do exhibit a breakdown. Numerical simulations confirm theoretical predictions. The breakdown outcomes are discussed with regard to single pore systems and multiple pore systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number184701
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume155
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - 14 Nov 2021

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