Particle-surface interactions in a uniform electric field

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The electrostatic force on a spherical particle near a planar surface is calculated for the cases of a uniform electric field applied in either normal or tangential direction to the surface. The particle and suspending media are assumed to be weakly conducting, so that that the leaky dielectric model applies. The Laplace equation for the electric potential is solved in bipolar coordinate system and the potential is obtained in terms of a series expansion of Legendre polynomials. The force on the particle is calculated using the Maxwell tensor. We find that in the case of normal electric field, which corresponds to a particle near an electrode, the force is always attractive but at a given separation it varies nontrivially with particle-suspending medium conductivity ratio; the force on a particle that is more conducting than the suspending medium is much larger compared to the force on a particle less conducing than the suspending medium. In the case of tangential electric field, which corresponds to a particle near an insulating boundary, the force is always repulsive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number034607
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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