Counter-ions between or at asymmetrically charged walls: 2D free-fermion point

L. Samaj 1, 2 E. Trizac 1

Journal of Statistical Physics, Springer Verlag (Germany), 2014, 156, pp.932

This work contributes to the problem of determining effective interaction between asymmetrically (likely or oppositely) charged objects whose total charge is neutralized by mobile pointlike counter-ions of the same charge, the whole system being in thermal equilibrium. The problem is formulated in two spatial dimensions with logarithmic Coulomb interactions. The charged objects correspond to two parallel lines at distance d, with fixed line charge densities. Two versions of the model are considered: the standard "unconstrained" one with particles moving freely between the lines and the "constrained" one with particles confined to the lines. We solve exactly both systems at the free-fermion coupling and compare the results for the pressure (i.e. the force between the lines per unit length of one of the lines) with the mean-field Poisson-Boltzmann solution. For the unconstrained model, the large-d asymptotic behaviour of the free-fermion pressure differs from that predicted by the mean-field theory. For the constrained model, the asymptotic pressure coincides with the attractive van der Waals-Casimir fluctuational force. For both models, there are fundamental differences between the cases of likely-charged and oppositely-charged lines, the latter case corresponding at large distances d to a capacitor.

  • 1. LPTMS - Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques
  • 2. Institute of Physics