Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.255, No.1, 138-144, 2002
The wall and multivalent counterion effects on the electrostatic force between like-charged spherical particles confined in a charged pore
The effect of wall confinement (wall charge and wall-sphere separation distance) on the electrostatic force between two charged spheres confined in a long charged pore in symmetric and asymmetric electrolytes have been quantified by solving the nonlinear Poisson-Boltzmann equation (PBE), using adaptive finite elements combined with error minimization techniques. The computed force indicated the strong effect of the wall potential on the reduction of the repulsive force for all type of electrolytes. The influence of the wall effect was reduced when the valence of the electrolyte was increased. A significant reduction in the repulsive force between the two spheres was also observed when the distance between the pore wall and the sphere surface was reduced. A smaller long-range repulsive interaction was observed between spheres when the solutions contained multivalent counterions as compared with a monovalent solution. However, at short ranges of separation distances multivalent counterions increase the electrostatic repulsive force between the spheres. The effect of the dimensionless radius of the spheres on the electrostatic force between them has been determined and a significant reduction observed as the dimensionless radius was reduced.