Distribution of counterions near discretely charged planes and rods

M. L. Henle, C. D. Santangelo, D. M. Patel, P. A. Pincus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-290
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 15 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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