DFT study of nano zinc/copper voltaic cells

  • J. Tillman Austin
  • Jorge M. Seminario
Original Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. P. Politzer 80th Birthday Festschrift


To facilitate the development of new materials for use in batteries, it is necessary to develop ab initio full-electron computational techniques for modeling potential new battery materials. Here, we tested density functional theory procedures that are accurate enough to obtain the energetics of a zinc/copper voltaic cell. We found the magnitude of the zero-point energy correction to be 0.01–0.2 kcal/mol per atom or molecule and the magnitude of the dispersion correction to be 0.1–0.6 kcal/mol per atom or molecule for Zn n , (H2O) n , \( \mathrm{Zn}{\left({\mathrm{H}}_2\mathrm{O}\right)}_n^{2+} \), \( \mathrm{Cu}{\left({\mathrm{H}}_2\mathrm{O}\right)}_n^{2+} \), and Cu n . Counterpoise correction significantly affected the values of ∆\( {E}_n^{\mathrm{abs}} \), ∆\( {E}_n^{\mathrm{coh}} \), and ∆Esolv by 1.0–3.1 kcal/mol per atom or molecule at the B3PW91/6-31G(d) level of theory, but by only 0.04–0.4 kcal/mol per atom or molecule at the B3PW91/cc-pVTZ level of theory. The application of B3PW91/6-31G(d) yielded results that differed from macroscopic experimental values by 0.1–7.1 kcal/mol per atom or molecule, whereas applying B3PW91/cc-pVTZ produced results that differed from macroscopic experimental values by 0.1–4.8 kcal/mol per atom or molecule, with the smallest differences occurring for reactions with a small macroscopic experimental ∆E and the largest differences occurring for reactions with a large macroscopic experimental ∆E, implying size consistency.


Voltaic cell DFT Nanobattery Battery Zinc Copper 



We would like to thank the Texas A&M University High Performance Research Computing Center for allowing us to use their facilities.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  3. 3.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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