Assessment of the Wolf method using the Stillinger-Lovett sum rules: from strong electrolytes to weakly charged colloidal dispersions

José Marcos Falcón-González, Claudio Contreras-Aburto, Mayra Lara-Peña, Marco Heinen, Carlos Avendano, Alejandro Gil-Villegas, Ramón Castañeda-Priego

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The Ewald method has been the cornerstone in molecular simulations for modeling electrostatic interactions of charge-stabilized many-body systems. In the late nineties, Wolf and collaborators developed an alternative route to describe the long-range nature of electrostatic interactions; from a computational perspective, this method provides a more efficient and straightforward way to implement long-range electrostatic interactions than the Ewald method. Despite these advantages, the validity of Wolf potential to account for the electrostatic contribution in charged fluids remains controversial. To alleviate this situation, in this contribution, we implement the Wolf summation method to both electrolyte solutions and charged colloids with moderate size and charge asymmetries in order to assess the accuracy and validity of the method. To this end, we verify that the proper selection of parameters within the Wolf method leads to results that are in good agreement with those obtained through the standard Ewald method and the theory of integral equations of simple liquids within the so-called hypernetted chain approximation. Furthermore, we show that the results obtained with the original Wolf method do satisfy the moment conditions described by the Stillinger-Lovett sum rules, which are directly related to the local electroneutrality condition and the electrostatic screening in the Debye-Hückel regime. Hence, the fact that the solution provided by the Wolf method satisfies the first and second moments of Stillinger-Lovett proves, for the first time, the reliability of the method to correctly incorporate the electrostatic contribution in charge-stabilized fluids. This makes the Wolf method a powerful alternative compared to more demanding computational approaches.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 29 Nov 2020


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