Curvature dependence of the electrolytic liquid-liquid interfacial tension

Kavli Affiliate: Jos Zwanikken

| First 5 Authors: Markus Bier, Joost de Graaf, Jos Zwanikken, Rene van Roij,

| Summary:

The interfacial tension of a liquid droplet surrounded by another liquid in
the presence of microscopic ions is studied as a function of the droplet
radius. An analytical expression for the interfacial tension is obtained within
a linear Poisson-Boltzmann theory and compared with numerical results from
non-linear Poisson-Boltzmann theory. The excess liquid-liquid interfacial
tension with respect to the pure, salt-free liquid-liquid interfacial tension
is found to decompose into a curvature-independent part due to short-ranged
interfacial effects and a curvature-dependent electrostatic contribution.
Several curvature-dependent regimes of different scaling of the electrostatic
excess interfacial tension are identified. Symmetry relations of the
interfacial tension upon swapping droplet and bulk liquid are found to hold in
the low-curvature limit, which, e.g., lead to a sign change of the excess
Tolman length. For some systems a low-curvature expansion up to second order
turns out to be applicable if and only if the droplet size exceeds the Debye
screening length in the droplet, independent of the Debye length in the bulk.

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