Pore formation and area exchange in tense membranes
Department of Materials and Interfaces, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel
Accepted: 14 May 1998
We discuss the properties of fluid membranes, whose fluctuations are restricted due to lack of area. The additional free-energy cost of the difference between the actual and optimum areas of the membrane is derived, and two ways in which the membrane can lower this free-energy cost are discussed. Firstly, it is shown that the area dependence of the surface tension can surprisingly lead to a stable hole of finite size in the membrane. We then discuss the surface-tension–driven exchange between two membranes, and conclude that this process is likely to be observed between a tense and a fluctuating membrane. The relevance of these results for recent observations on systems of vesicles is briefly discussed.
PACS: 87.22.Bt – Membrane and subcellular physics and structure / 82.65.Dp – Thermodynamics of surfaces and interfaces / 82.70.-y – Disperse systems
© EDP Sciences, 1998