A key factor controlling the interactions between surfaces in aqueous solutions is the surface charge density. Surfaces typically become charged though a titration process where surface groups can become ionized based on their dissociation constant and the pH of the solution. In this work, we use a Monte Carlo method to treat this process in a system with two planar surfaces with explicitly described ionizable sites in a salt solution. We focus on a system with a surface density of ionizable sites set to 4.8 nm-2, corresponding to silica. We find that the surface charge density changes as the surfaces come close to contact due to interactions between the ionizable groups on each surface. In addition, we observe an attraction between the surfaces above a threshold surface charge, in good agreement with previous theoretical predictions based on uniformly charged surfaces. However, close to contact we find the force is significantly different than for the uniformly charged case.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces