Volume 84, Number 3, November 2008
Article Number 36006
Number of page(s) 6
Section Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties
Published online 29 October 2008
EPL, 84 (2008) 36006
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/84/36006

Influence of smectic liquid crystals on the Poisson-Boltzmann distribution of ions near charged surfaces

A. Roy and N. V. Madhusudana

Raman Research Institute - C. V. Raman Avenue, Sadashivanagar, Bangalore 560 080, India

received 6 May 2008; accepted in final form 30 September 2008; published November 2008
published online 29 October 2008

We have developed a model for the distribution of ions in a sample of smectic-A liquid crystal taken between two charged plates, by including an appropriate one-dimensionally periodic potential. In samples which are in contact with an external reservoir, there is an influx of ions to the cell attracted by the minima in the periodic potential, effectively reducing the screening length compared to the Debye length in the nematic phase. The smectic potential has maxima near the plates, which leads to an inward longitudinal pressure unlike in nematic. In the case of sealed cells without any contact with an external reservoir, the ion distribution in the smectic follows closely that in the nematic, except for the oscillations arising from the smectic potential.

61.30.-v - Liquid crystals.
61.20.Qg - Structure of associated liquids: electrolytes, molten salts, etc.
82.45.-h - Electrochemistry and electrophoresis.

© EPLA 2008