Instability of a fluctuating membrane driven by an ac electric field

Jacopo Seiwert*, Petia M. Vlahovska

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Shape fluctuations of a planar lipid membrane in an ac electric field are investigated using a zero-thickness electromechanical model, which accounts for membrane conductivity and capacitance, and asymmetry in the properties of the fluids separated by the membrane. A linear stability analysis shows that unlike in the case of a dc electric field, a purely capacitive membrane can be destabilized in an ac electric field. The theory highlights that the instability originates from electric pressure exerted on the membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number022713
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 19 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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