Counter-ions at Charged Walls: Two Dimensional Systems

L. Samaj 1, E. Trizac 2

The European Physical Journal Special Topics 34 (2011) 20

We study equilibrium statistical mechanics of classical point counter-ions, formulated on 2D Euclidean space with logarithmic Coulomb interactions (infinite number of particles) or on the cylinder surface (finite particle numbers), in the vicinity of a single uniformly charged line (one single double-layer), or between two such lines (interacting double-layers). The weak-coupling Poisson-Boltzmann theory, which applies when the coupling constant Gamma is small, is briefly recapitulated (the coupling constant is defined as Gamma = beta e^2 where beta is the inverse temperature, and e the counter-ion charge). The opposite strong-coupling limit (Gamma -> infinity) is treated by using a recent method based on an exact expansion around the ground-state Wigner crystal of counter-ions. The weak- and strong-coupling theories are compared at intermediary values of the coupling constant Gamma=2 gamma (gamma=1,2,3), to exact results derived within a 1D lattice representation of 2D Coulomb systems in terms of anti-commuting field variables. The models (density profile, pressure) are solved exactly for any particles numbers N at Gamma=2 and up to relatively large finite N at Gamma=4 and 6. For the one-line geometry, the decay of the density profile at asymptotic distance from the line undergoes a fundamental change with respect to the mean-field behavior at Gamma=6. The like-charge attraction regime, possible in the strong coupling limit but precluded at mean-field level, survives for Gamma=4 and 6, but disappears at Gamma=2.

  • 1. Institute of Physics,
    Slovak Academy of Sciences
  • 2. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud