Overcharging of a macroion by an oppositely charged polyelectrolyte

T. T. Nguyen, B. I. Shklovskii

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Complexation of a polyelectrolyte with an oppositely charged spherical macroion is studied for both salt-free and salty solutions. When a polyelectrolyte winds around the macroion, its turns repel each other and form an almost equidistant solenoid. It is shown that this repulsive correlations of turns lead to the charge inversion: more polyelectrolyte winds around the macroion than it is necessary to neutralize it. The charge inversion becomes stronger with increasing concentration of salt and can exceed 100%. Monte-Carlo simulation results agree with our analytical theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-338
Number of pages15
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Apr 15 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to A.Yu. Grosberg for many useful discussions and to S. Stoll and P. Chodanowski for the possibility to read their paper [16] before the publication. This work was supported by NSF DMR-9985985.


  • Charge inversion
  • Polyelectrolyte
  • Spherical macroion


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