Homogeneous Crystal Nucleation Near a Metastable Fluid-Fluid Phase Transition

Limei Xu, Sergey V. Buldyrev, H. Eugene Stanley, Giancarlo Franzese
2012 Physical Review Letters  
Several scenarios exist for the protein crystallization and aggregation in solutions near a metastable fluid-fluid phase separation below the solubility line. Based on computations, it was proposed that the fluid-fluid critical point enhances the crystallization rate by many orders of magnitude, while, based on experiments, it was proposed that the fluid-fluid spinodal controls the crystallization rate. Using molecular dynamic simulations for an isotropic model with sticky interaction, we show
more » ... hat neither of these scenarios adequately describes the crystallization mechanism near a metastable fluid-fluid phase separation. We find that the emergence of the high-density fluid inside the spinodal drastically enhances the crystal nucleation in the subcritical region following Ostwald's rule of stages.
doi:10.1103/physrevlett.109.095702 pmid:23002854 fatcat:zwj2wo5c7rgqtgabvyct6yqgnq