Electrokinetics of Concentrated Suspension of Soft Particles with pH-Regulated Volumetric Charges

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Research Article

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This article presents a theoretical study on the electrokinetics of concentrated suspension of charge-regulated soft particles under a weak electric field and low potential assumptions. The inner core of the undertaken particle is "semisoft"in nature, which allows ion penetration while the fluid cannot flow within it, and the outer soft polymeric shell allows the flow of the ionized fluid. In addition, the inner core and the outer polyelectrolyte layer (PEL) bear pH-regulated basic and acidic functional groups, respectively. The Poisson-Boltzmann equation-based mathematical model was adopted here for electric potential. The fluid flow across the electrolyte medium and PEL is governed by the Stokes equation and the Darcy-Brinkman equation, respectively. The Kuwabara's unit cell model (J. Phys. Soc. Japan, 1959, 14, 522-527) was invoked to observe the effect of the interaction between the neighboring particles in a concentrated suspension. A first order perturbation technique was used to determine the mean electrophoretic mobility of the undertaken soft particles in a concentrated suspension. The effect of pH and concentration of bulk electrolyte, electrohydrodynamic properties of both the inner core and PEL, on the mean electrophoretic mobility has been studied extensively. In addition, the results have been presented for the neutralization factor that measures the fraction of fixed charges neutralized by the mobile counterions.

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