Realistic charged macromolecules are characterized by discrete (rather than homogeneous) charge distributions. We investigate the effects of surface charge discretization on the counterion distribution at the level of mean-field theory using a two-state model. Both planar and cylindrical geometries are considered; for the latter case, we compare our results to numerical solutions of the full Poisson-Boltzmann equation. We find that the discretization of the surface charge can cause enhanced localization of the counterions near the surface; for charged cylinders, counterion condensation can exceed Oosawa-Manning condensation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)