In this work, the added value of machine learning (ML) molecular force fields (FF) for the community of molecular simulations is showcased by successfully calculating transport properties of aqueous potassium hydroxide (KOH (aq)). Classical FFs use relatively simple interatomic p
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In this work, the added value of machine learning (ML) molecular force fields (FF) for the community of molecular simulations is showcased by successfully calculating transport properties of aqueous potassium hydroxide (KOH (aq)). Classical FFs use relatively simple interatomic potentials to simulate the nano scale. These simulations can predict macroscopic properties, such as density, heat of evaporation, viscosity, and self-diffusivity of the modeled materials. However, these FFs struggle to model materials in which more complicated interactions are relevant for the macroscopic behavior. Examples of such interactions are three-body interactions and chemical reactions. Quantum scale simulation methods are able to compute properties of materials in which these challenging interactions occur, although these methods are limited in length and time scales that can be modeled with realistic computational costs. Transport properties, such as viscosity, self-diffusivity and electric conductivity need these larger length and time scales to be determined accurately. ML can be used for a multi scale approach, bridging the gap between the quantum and the nano scale by training coefficients of general interatomic potentials. This provides the possibility of reaching the time and length scales of traditional molecular simulations with the accuracy of quantum mechanic models. KOH (aq) is selected to highlight the prospects of these multi scale techniques, as the self-diffusion of OH- in this electrolyte is dominated by proton transfer reactions, which has not been modeled successfully with classical FFs.

Results of structure properties produced with ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD, at quantum scale) simulations are compared with machine learning molecular dynamics (MLMD, at multi scale) simulations. There are no significant differences in the calculated shortest typical atomic distances and coordination numbers for both KOH (aq) and pure water systems. The determined transport properties are in the same order of magnitude as experimental results, although the calculated viscosity is overestimated and the self-diffusion of H2O and K+ are underestimated. This is because the system is simulated at a higher than experimental density and hydrogen bonding is overestimated with the selected quantum mechanics model. The proton transfer reactions are captured in the MLMD simulations, calculating the enhanced self-diffusion of OH- to be (6±2)e-9 m squared per second, which matches experimental results at infinite dilution.