Electrostatic interaction and partitioning of ion-penetrable spheres

Shing Bor Chen, Heng Kwong Tsao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electrostatic interaction between two ion-penetrable spheres near a horizontal plate or in a slit pore is investigated theoretically. The orientation of the line connecting the two particle centers can be arbitrary relative to the plate(s). The electrostatic interaction energy and force on each particle are obtained analytically by the method of images. Emphasis is placed on the effect of the presence of the second particle, compared to the case of a single particle or the case without any plate(s). It is found that the horizontal electrical force on each particle is always repulsive. This repulsive force is enhanced by the plate(s) of constant surface charge density, while it is reduced by the plate(s) of constant surface potential. The electrostatic interaction together with the steric effect is used to determine the partition coefficient for the case of a slit pore, correct to O(C∞), where C∞ is the volume fraction of particles in the bulk solution. The positive correction coefficient is larger for conducting plates than for insulating plates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-332
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2001


  • Electrical double layer
  • Electrostatic interactions
  • Ion-penetrable particles
  • Membranes
  • Partition coefficient


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