Coulomb energy of uniformly charged spheroidal shell systems

Vikram Jadhao, Zhenwei Yao, Creighton K. Thomas, Monica Olvera De La Cruz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We provide exact expressions for the electrostatic energy of uniformly charged prolate and oblate spheroidal shells. We find that uniformly charged prolate spheroids of eccentricity greater than 0.9 have lower Coulomb energy than a sphere of the same area. For the volume-constrained case, we find that a sphere has the highest Coulomb energy among all spheroidal shells. Further, we derive the change in the Coulomb energy of a uniformly charged shell due to small, area-conserving perturbations on the spherical shape. Our perturbation calculations show that buckling-type deformations on a sphere can lower the Coulomb energy. Finally, we consider the possibility of counterion condensation on the spheroidal shell surface. We employ a Manning-Oosawa two-state model approximation to evaluate the renormalized charge and analyze the behavior of the equilibrium free energy as a function of the shell's aspect ratio for both area-constrained and volume-constrained cases. Counterion condensation is seen to favor the formation of spheroidal structures over a sphere of equal area for high values of shell volume fractions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number032305
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 5 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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