Europhys. Lett.
Volume 74, Number 1, April 2006
Page(s) 181 - 187
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 01 March 2006
Europhys. Lett., 74 (1), pp. 181-187 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10512-5

Bjerrum pairing correlations at charged interfaces

A. Travesset and D. Vaknin

Department of Physics and Astronomy and Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University Ames, IA, 50011, USA

received 7 November 2005; accepted in final form 13 February 2006
published online 1 March 2006

Electrostatic correlations play a fundamental role in aqueous solutions. In this letter, we identify transverse and lateral correlations as two mutually exclusive regimes. We show that the transverse regime leads to binding by generalization of Bjerrum pair formation theory, yielding binding constants from first-principle statistical-mechanical calculations. We compare our theoretical predictions with experiments on charged membranes and Langmuir monolayers and find good agreement. We contrast our approach with existing theories in the strong-coupling limit and on charged modulated interfaces, and discuss different scenarios that lead to charge reversal and equal-sign attraction by macro-ions.

82.45.Mp - Thin layers, films, monolayers, membranes.
61.20.Qg - Structure of associated liquids: electrolytes, molten salts, etc.
82.39.Jn - Charge (electron, proton) transfer in biological systems.

© EDP Sciences 2006