Probing calcium solvation by XAS, MD and DFT calculations†
The solvation shell structures of Ca2+ in aqueous and organic solutions probed by calcium L-edge soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and DFT/MD simulations show the coordination number of Ca2+ to be negatively correlated with the electrolyte concentration and the steric hindrance of the solvent molecule. In this work, the calcium L-edge soft XAS demonstrates its sensitivity to the surrounding chemical environment. Additionally, the total electron yield (TEY) mode is surface sensitive because the electron penetration depth is limited to a few nanometers. Thus this study shows its implications for future battery studies, especially for probing the electrolyte/electrode interface for electrochemical reactions under in situ/operando conditions.