We investigate the influence of geometric confinement on the free energy of an idealized model for charge-stabilized colloidal suspensions. The mean-field Poisson-Boltzmann formulation for this system predicts pure repulsion among macroionic colloidal spheres. Fluctuations in the simple ions' distribution provide a mechanism for the macroions to attract each other at large separations. Although this Casimir interaction is long-ranged, it is too weak to influence colloidal crystals' properties.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)