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Title: Order of wetting transitions in electrolyte solutions

For wetting films in dilute electrolyte solutions close to charged walls we present analytic expressions for their effective interface potentials. The analysis of these expressions renders the conditions under which corresponding wetting transitions can be first- or second-order. Within mean field theory we consider two models, one with short- and one with long-ranged solvent-solvent and solvent-wall interactions. The analytic results reveal in a transparent way that wetting transitions in electrolyte solutions, which occur far away from their critical point (i.e., the bulk correlation length is less than half of the Debye length) are always first-order if the solvent-solvent and solvent-wall interactions are short-ranged. In contrast, wetting transitions close to the bulk critical point of the solvent (i.e., the bulk correlation length is larger than the Debye length) exhibit the same wetting behavior as the pure, i.e., salt-free, solvent. If the salt-free solvent is governed by long-ranged solvent-solvent as well as long-ranged solvent-wall interactions and exhibits critical wetting, adding salt can cause the occurrence of an ion-induced first-order thin-thick transition which precedes the subsequent continuous wetting as for the salt-free solvent.
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme, Heisenbergstr. 3, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany and IV. Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 57, 70569 Stuttgart (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22252916
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 140; Journal Issue: 17; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; DEBYE LENGTH; ELECTROLYTES; FILMS; INTERACTIONS; INTERFACES; MEAN-FIELD THEORY; SALTS; SOLUTIONS; SOLVENTS