Origin of Anomalously Large Depletion Zones in Like-Charged Colloid-Polyelectrolyte Mixtures

C.M. Martens, M. Vis, R. Tuinier (Corresponding author)

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Depletion zones in polyelectrolyte solutions in contact with like-charged flat surfaces are investigated. Using a coupled self-consistent field and Debye-Hückel approach, an explicit expression for the thickness δ of the depletion layer is derived. It is found that δ∼δn+cκ-1, where δn is the depletion thickness at a neutral surface, c is a function of the electrostatic characteristics of the system, and κ-1 is the Debye length. It is argued that the theory still holds beyond the mean-field approximation, which is confirmed by quantitative agreement between our theoretical results and experiments.

Originele taal-2Engels
Aantal pagina's6
TijdschriftPhysical Review Letters
Nummer van het tijdschrift15
StatusGepubliceerd - 12 apr. 2024


The authors acknowledge financial support from the Ministry of Economic Affairs of The Netherlands via the Top Consortium for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI) road map Chemistry of Life (Grant No. CHEMIE.PGT.2021.015). The authors acknowledge Professor F.\u2009A.\u2009M. Leermakers for making the namics SF-SCF computation software package open source.

Ministerie van Economische Zaken en KlimaatCHEMIE.PGT.2021.015


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