Influence of dielectric inhomogeneities on the structure of charged nanoparticles in neutral polymer solutions

Rituparna Samanta, Venkat Ganesan

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We study the structural characteristics of a system of charged nanoparticles in a neutral polymer solution while accounting for the differences in the dielectric constant between the particles, polymer and the solvent. We use a hybrid computational methodology involving a combination of single chain in mean-field simulations and the solution of the Poisson's equation for the electrostatic field. We quantify the resulting particle structural features in terms of radial distribution function among particles as a function of the dielectric contrast, particle charge, particle volume fraction and polymer concentration. In the absence of polymers, charged macroions experience increased repulsion with a lowering of the ratio of particle to solvent dielectric constant. The influence of the dielectric contrast between the particle and the solvent however diminishes with an increase in the particle volume fraction and/or its charge. In the presence of neutral polymers, similar effects manifest, but with the additional physics arising from the fact that the polymer-induced interactions are influenced by the dielectric contrast of the particle and solvent.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3748-3759
Number of pages12
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

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