A Caltech Library Service

Metastable cluster intermediates in the condensation of charged macromolecule solutions

Hutchens, Shelby B. and Wang, Zhen-Gang (2007) Metastable cluster intermediates in the condensation of charged macromolecule solutions. Journal of Chemical Physics, 127 (8). Art. No. 084912. ISSN 0021-9606. doi:10.1063/1.2761891.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The authors examine the possibility of a two-step nucleation to the bulk condensation transition that proceeds via a metastable liquid cluster intermediate having some preferred size. The metastable intermediate is stabilized by electrostatic repulsion, which becomes screened by small mobile ions at sufficiently large cluster sizes, thus allowing the eventual condensation to a bulk phase. Our calculation employs a capillary model for the cluster and the electrostatic interactions are treated using the Poisson-Boltzmann approach. Condensation via this metastable intermediate may be a very general phenomenon which applies not only to solutions of charged particles (e.g., proteins, colloidal particles, and polyelectrolytes) but to any system involving short-range attraction and long-range repulsion undergoing macrophase separation in which a metastable microphase separation is also possible.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Wang, Zhen-Gang0000-0002-3361-6114
Additional Information:©2007 American Institute of Physics (Received 4 June 2007; accepted 26 June 2007; published online 31 August 2007) One of the authors (S.B.H.) would like to thank Betty and Gordon Moore for the teaching and research fellowship.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Boltzmann equation; capillarity; condensation; macromolecules; phase separation; Poisson equation
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:HUTjcp07
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8639
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:02 Sep 2007
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 20:51

Repository Staff Only: item control page