Debye–Hückel Theory

  • Philipp O. J. SchererEmail author
  • Sighart F. Fischer
Part of the Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering book series (BIOMEDICAL)


Mobile charges like \(Na^{+}\) or \(Cl^{-}\) ions are very important for the functioning of biomolecules. In a stationary state their concentration depends on the local electrostatic field which is produced by the charge distribution of the biomolecule which in turn depends for instance on the protonation state and on the conformation. In this chapter we present continuum models to describe the interaction between a biomolecule and surrounding mobile charges. We derive the Poisson–Boltzmann equation and study its solutions for simple geometries like a charged sphere and cylinder and the Gouy–Chapman double layer including Stern’s modification for finite ion radius.

Supplementary material

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physikdepartment T38Technische Universität MünchenGarchingGermany

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