Monday, July 22, 2013

1307.5130 (Ali Naji et al.)

Perspective: Coulomb fluids -- weak coupling, strong coupling, in
between and beyond

Ali Naji, Matej Kanduč, Jan Forsman, Rudolf Podgornik
We present a personal view on the current state of statistical mechanics of Coulomb fluids with special emphasis on the interactions between macromolecular surfaces, concentrating on the weak and the strong coupling limits. Both are introduced for a counterion-only system in the presence of macroscopic, uniformly charged boundaries, where they can be derived systematically. Later we show how this formalism can be generalized to the cases with additional characteristic length scales and thus new coupling parameters into the problem. These cases most notably include asymmetric ionic mixtures with mono- and multivalent ions that couple differently to charged surfaces, ions with internal charge (multipolar) structure and finite static polarizability, where weak and strong coupling limits can be constructed by analogy with a counterion-only case and lead to important new insights into their properties that can not be derived by any other means.
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