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We consider the behaviour of a critical system in the presence of a gradient perturbation of the couplings. In the direction of the gradient an interface region separates the ordered phase from the disordered one. We develop a scaling theory for the density profiles induced by the gradient perturbation which involves a characteristic length given by the width of the interface region. The scaling predictions are tested in the framework of the mean-field Ginzburg-Landau theory. Then we considerdoi:10.1088/1751-8113/40/7/004 fatcat:qlz3wqp2xjg4lpemx4mejorahe