Colloidal particles

Origin of anomalous multibody interactions

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Abstract

In a numerical study, Bowen and Sharif1 purported to capture attractive interactions between like-charged colloidal particles by solving the nonlinear Poisson–Boltzmann equation around two particles in a pore. We are unable to replicate their results, in accord with recent proofs2,3 showing that this equation cannot produce attractions between like-charged particles. Our calculations reveal only repulsive interactions between confined particles, indicating that the cause for anomalous colloidal multibody interactions is still unknown.

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Figure 1: Plot of electrostatic force against distance between particles.

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Gray, J., Chiang, B. & Bonnecaze, R. Origin of anomalous multibody interactions. Nature 402, 750 (1999) doi:10.1038/45445

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