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Published March 14, 2015 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

On the theoretical description of weakly charged surfaces


It is widely accepted that the Poisson-Boltzmann (PB) theory provides a valid description for charged surfaces in the so-called weak coupling limit. Here, we show that the image charge repulsion creates a depletion boundary layer that cannot be captured by a regular perturbation approach. The correct weak-coupling theory must include the self-energy of the ion due to the image charge interaction. The image force qualitatively alters the double layer structure and properties, and gives rise to many non-PB effects, such as nonmonotonic dependence of the surface energy on concentration and charge inversion. In the presence of dielectric discontinuity, there is no limiting condition for which the PB theory is valid.

Additional Information

© 2015 AIP Publishing LLC. Received 28 November 2014; accepted 23 February 2015; published online 10 March 2015. Acknowledgment is made to the donors of the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund for partial support of this research.

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Published - 1.4914170.pdf

Submitted - 1502.05265v1.pdf


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