Overcharging, charge reversal: chemistry or physics?

J. Lyklema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

136 Citations (Scopus)


Overcharging, also called charge reversal or charge inversion, is the occurrence of electric double layers in which, as measured by electrokinetics or interaction, there is more countercharge than charge on the surface. The trend is that the propensity of overcharging increases with the valency of the counterion. For the interpretation of this phenomenon, disparate explanations have been forwarded and elaborated that, briefly, can be distinguished as "chemical" (specific adsorption, ...) and "physical" (ion correlations, ...). In the present paper, an analysis of this disparity will be given. In particular, types of experiments will be proposed which can help to discriminate
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-12
JournalColloids and Surfaces. A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • electric double-layers
  • aqueous-solutions
  • primitive model
  • inversion
  • counterions
  • electrolyte
  • adsorption
  • surfaces
  • colloids
  • hydrolysis

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