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Published April 7, 2016 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

Inhomogeneous screening near a dielectric interface


Screening is one of the most important concepts in the study of charged systems. Near a dielectricinterface, the ion distribution in a salt solution can be highly nonuniform. Here, we develop a theory that self-consistently treats the inhomogeneous screening effects. At higher concentrations when the bulk Debye screening length is comparable to the Bjerrum length, the double layerstructure and interfacial properties are significantly affected by the inhomogeneous screening. In particular, the depletion zone is considerably wider than that predicted by the bulk screening approximation or the WKB approximation. The characteristic length of the depletion layer in this regime scales with the Bjerrum length, resulting in a linear increase of the negative adsorption of ions with concentration, in agreement with experiments. For asymmetric salts, inhomogeneous screening leads to enhanced charge separation and surface potential.

Additional Information

© 2016 AIP Publishing LLC. Received 18 November 2015; accepted 18 March 2016; published online 5 April 2016. 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 - 1.4945011.pdf

Submitted - 1505.07340v1.pdf


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