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Cutoff radius effect of the isotropic periodic sum and Wolf method in liquid-vapor interfaces of water.

Published Article
The Journal of Chemical Physics
American Institute of Physics
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1063/1.3578473
PMID: 21548678


As a more economical but similarly accurate computation method than the Ewald sum, the isotropic periodic sum (IPS) method for nonpolar molecules (IPSn) and polar molecules (IPSp), along with the Wolf method are of interest, but the cutoff radius dependence is an important issue. To evaluate the cutoff radius effect of the three methods, a water-vapor interfacial system has been studied by molecular dynamics. The Wolf method can produce adequate results for surface tension compared to that of the Ewald sum (within 2.9%) at a long enough cutoff radius, r(c). However, the estimation of the electrostatic potential profile and dipole orientational function is poor. The Wolf method cannot estimate electrostatic configuration at r(c) ≤ L(z)∕2 (L(z) is the longest lattice of the system). We have found that the convergence of the surface tension and the electrostatic configuration of the IPSn method is faster than that of the IPSp method. Moreover, the IPSn method is most accurate among the three methods for the same cutoff radius. Furthermore, the behavior of the surface tension against the cutoff radius shows a greater difference for the IPSn and IPSp method. The surface tension of the IPSp method fluctuates and presents a similar result to that of the Ewald sum, but the surface tension for the IPSn method greatly deviates near r(c) = L(z)∕3. The cause of this deviation is the difference between the interfacial configuration of the water surface and the cutoff treatment of the IPS method. The deviation becomes insignificant far from r(c) = L(z)∕3. In spite of this shortcoming, the IPSn method gives the most accurate result in estimating the surface tension at r(c) = L(z)∕2. From all the results in this work, the IPSn and IPSp method have been found to be more accurate than the Wolf method. In conclusion, the surface tension and structure of water-vapor interface can be calculated by the IPSn method when r(c) is greater than or equal to the longest lattice of the system. The IPSp method and the Wolf method require a longer cutoff radius than the longest lattice of the system to estimate interfacial properties.


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