Tag Archives: Chao Zhang

Finite-field coupling via learning the charge response kernel

Authors: Yunqi Shao, Linnéa Andersson, Lisanne Knijff and Chao Zhang

Response of the electronic density at the electrode–electrolyte interface to the external field (potential) is fundamental in electrochemistry. In density-functional theory, this is captured by the so-called charge response kernel (CRK). Projecting the CRK to its atom-condensed form is an essential step for obtaining the response charge of atoms. In this work, the atom-condensed CRK is learnt from the molecular polarizability using machine learning (ML) models and subsequently used for the response-charge prediction under an external field (potential). As the machine-learnt CRK shows a physical scaling of polarizability over the molecular size and does not (necessarily) require the matrix-inversion operation in practice, this opens up a viable and efficient route for introducing finite-field coupling in the atomistic simulation of electrochemical systems powered by ML models.

Electronic Structure, 2022, 4, 1, 014012


Importance of the Ion-Pair Lifetime in Polymer Electrolytes

Authors: Harish Gudla, Yunqi Shao, Supho Phunnarungsi, Daniel Brandell, and Chao Zhang

imageIon pairing is commonly considered as a culprit for the reduced ionic conductivity in polymer electrolyte systems. However, this simple thermodynamic picture should not be taken literally, as ion pairing is a dynamical phenomenon. Here we construct model poly(ethylene oxide)–bis(trifluoromethane)sulfonimide lithium salt systems with different degrees of ion pairing by tuning the solvent polarity and examine the relation between the cation–anion distinct conductivity σ+–d and the lifetime of ion pairs τ+– using molecular dynamics simulations. It is found that there exist two distinct regimes where σ+–d scales with 1/τ+– and τ+–, respectively, and the latter is a signature of longer-lived ion pairs that contribute negatively to the total ionic conductivity. This suggests that ion pairs are kinetically different depending on the solvent polarity, which renders the ion-pair lifetime highly important when discussing its effect on ion transport in polymer electrolyte systems.

J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2021, 12, 35, 8460–8464


Modelling Bulk Electrolytes and Electrolyte Interfaces with Atomistic Machine Learning

Authors: Yunqi Shao, Lisanne Knijff, Florian M. Dietrich, Kersti Hermansson,  Chao Zhang

imageBatteries and supercapacitors are electrochemical energy storage systems which involve multiple time-scales and length-scales. In terms of the electrolyte which serves as the ionic conductor, a molecular-level understanding of the corresponding transport phenomena, electrochemical (thermal) stability and interfacial properties is crucial for optimizing the device performance and achieving safety requirements. To this end, atomistic machine learning is a promising technology for bridging microscopic models and macroscopic phenomena. Here, we provide a timely snapshot of recent advances in this area. This includes technical considerations that are particularly relevant for modelling electrolytes as well as specific examples of both bulk electrolytes and associated interfaces. A perspective on methodological challenges and new applications is also discussed.

Batteries & Supercaps 2021, 4, 585.