A variational field theory for solutions of charged, rigid particles

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A general field theoretic formalism is developed for dealing with solutions of particles with rigid charge distributions. Combined with the mean-field approximation, the resulting theory extends the Poisson-Boltzmann equation to incorporate the presence of structured ions (e.g., uniformly charged rods or disks). When combined with a first-order variational approximation, the resulting theory, in the low density limit, is a generalization of the Debye-Huckel theory to extended charge distributions and reduces to the standard expressions when applied to point charges. A first-order variational theory is applied to solutions of uniformly charged disks and to solutions of uniformly charged disks with a neutralizing ring charge to examine the influence of electrostatic interactions on the isotropic-nematic transition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-247
Number of pages12
JournalFluid Phase Equilibria
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2006


  • Debye–Hückel theory
  • Sisks
  • electrolytes
  • field theory
  • liquid crystals
  • Poisson–Boltzmann equation


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