Published Research - Department of Chemistry


Date of this Version



Published by American Physical Society. Phys. Rev. E 68, 051203 (2003). Copyright © 2003 American Physical Society. Permission to use.


The effect of a uniform electric field on the bulk and interfacial properties of a model dipolar fluid is investigated by using a modified mean-field density functional theory. Particular attention is given to the dependence of the vapor-liquid phase coexistence in a slab-shaped system on the direction of the electric field with respect to the slab surfaces, as well as in the sphere-shaped system on the surrounding dielectric permittivity. For planar vapor-liquid interfaces, the interfacial profiles of the orientation order parameters and components of the dielectric-permittivity tensor are calculated. Analytical expressions for these interfacial profiles and their dependence on the electric field are obtained. When the electric field is normal to the interface we find that the thermodynamic surface tension is lowered compared to that in zero field, and that when the electric field is parallel to the interface the surface tension is enhanced. In contrast, the mechanical surface tension at the equimolar dividing surface is always enhanced by the field regardless of the field direction, and it assumes its highest value when the field is parallel to the interface.

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