Like-charge attraction at the nanoscale: ground-state correlations and water destructuring – Archive ouverte HAL

Ivan PalaiaAbhay GoyalEmanuela del GadoLadislav ŠamajEmmanuel Trizac 1

Ivan Palaia, Abhay Goyal, Emanuela del Gado, Ladislav Šamaj, Emmanuel Trizac. Like-charge attraction at the nanoscale: ground-state correlations and water destructuring. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, American Chemical Society, 2022. ⟨hal-03738112⟩

Like-charge attraction, driven by ionic correlations, challenges our understanding of electrostatics both in soft and hard matter. For two charged planar surfaces confining counterions and water, we prove that even at relatively low correlation strength, the relevant physics is the ground-state one, oblivious of fluctuations. Based on this, we derive a simple and accurate interaction pressure, that fulfills known exact requirements and can be used as an effective potential. We test this equation against implicit-solvent Monte Carlo simulations and against explicit-solvent simulations of cement and several types of clays. We argue that water destructuring under nanometric confinement drastically reduces dielectric screening, enhancing ionic correlations. Our equation of state at reduced permittivity therefore explains the exotic attractive regime reported for these materials, even in absence of multivalent counterions.

  • 1. LPTMS – Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques

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