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Statistical mechanics of electrostatically interacting systems

Water mediated electrostatic interactions are omnipresent in various nanoscale phenomena. These interactions regulate several biological and industrial processes, to name but a few,  the ionic selectivity of biological and artificial membrane nanopores, the rigidity of charged proteins, the translocation of DNA through nanopores, and the functioning of new generation energy storage devices such as supercapacitors.  Despite their relevance, electrostatic effects in nanoscale systems have been modeled for several decades within mean-field level dielectric continuum formulations, such as the Poisson-Boltzmann (PB) approach that neglects electrostatic many-body effects, the charge structure of water solvent, and ion specific effects.

Using field-theoretic formulations coupled to hydrodynamic transport equations, we incorporate into the PB formalism the complications associated with electrostatic many-body effects and solvent charge structure.  We develop self-consistent approaches that allow to consider these features in inhomogeneous systems, such as electrolytes and polyelectrolytes in membrane nanopores.  We also extend the dielectric continuum formulation of electrostatics by developing charged liquid models where the charge structure of the solvent is taken into account on the same footing as the mobile ions in the electrolyte.

Left : Drift-driven translocation of the DNA molecule thorough the nanopore.   Right : Reversal of the electroporetic DNA translocation velocity by electrostatic many-body effects

   Selected Publications


See my CV for a complete publication list.

Teaching :

  • Advanced Calculus for Applications in Physics (spring 2016-17). Syllabus
  • General Physics : Electrostatics and Magnetism, Bilkent University (spring 2015-2017). Phys102 website
  • General Physics : Classical Mechanics, Bilkent University (fall 2014-2016). Phys101 website
  • Statistical physics of DNA, Universite Lille I (fall 2013).

sahin buyukdagli,
Jul 27, 2017, 1:42 PM
sahin buyukdagli,
Mar 14, 2016, 9:24 AM