Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published August 28, 2007 | Published
Journal Article Open

Metastable cluster intermediates in the condensation of charged macromolecule solutions


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.

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.

Attached Files

Published - HUTjcp07.pdf


Files (598.1 kB)
Name Size Download all
598.1 kB Preview Download

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 16, 2023