Dielectric enhancement due to electrochemical double layer: Thin double layer approximation

W. C. Chew, P. N. Sen

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The dielectric constant and conductivity of a dilute ensemble of immobile, spherical particles with fixed surface (zeta) potential Φo, immersed in an electrolytic solution, is obtained in the thin double layer approximation δ≪α, δ being the thickness of the double layer, and α the radius of the particles. Equations of motion for coions and counter-ions are solved by the method of matched asymptotics. The equations of motions, linearized in the applied electric field Eo and with coefficients that are functions of the unperturbed potential (zeroth order in Eo), are solved to second order in (δ/α). The term giving enhancement in the real part of the effective dielectric constant of the ensemble ε′e, is second order in δ/α; but the series converges if (δ/α)t2/(1-t2)≪1, where t = tanh(eΦo/kBT), e being the ionic charge, k B the Boltzmann constant, and T the absolute temperature. The static value of ε′e to this order, is ε′ e∼36fε′t2/(1-t2)2, where f is the volume fraction of particles, ε′ the real part of the dielectric constant of the solution. When Φo→∞, therefore, t→1, ε′e diverges as ε′ e∼9/4fε′ exp[eΦo/kBT). The present treatment is free from the approximations of previous analytical results. When applicable, the theory agrees well with experiments over three decades in frequency, with one adjustable parameter Φo. Comparison with other theories are made.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4683-4693
Number of pages11
JournalThe Journal of Chemical Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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