Dielectric constant of ionic solutions: A field-theory approach

Amir Levy, David Andelman, Henri Orland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the variation of the dielectric response of a dielectric liquid (e.g. water) when a salt is added to the solution. Employing field-theoretical methods, we expand the Gibbs free energy to first order in a loop expansion and calculate self-consistently the dielectric constant. We predict analytically the dielectric decrement which depends on the ionic strength in a complex way. Furthermore, a qualitative description of the hydration shell is found and is characterized by a single length scale. Our prediction fits rather well a large range of concentrations for different salts using only one fit parameter related to the size of ions and dipoles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number227801
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number22
StatePublished - 29 May 2012


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