Infoscience

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Competition between crystallization and glassification for particles with short-ranged attraction. Possible applications to protein crystallization

We discuss the phase behaviour of spherical hard-core particles, with an attractive potential, as described by a hard-core Yukawa model. The ratio of the range of the attraction to the diameter of the particles is an important control parameter of the problem. Upon decreasing the range of the attraction, the phase diagram changes quite significantly, with the liquid-gas transition becoming metastable, and the crystal being in equilibrium with the fluid, with no intervening liquid. We also study the glass transition lines and, crucially, find that the situation, being very simple for pure repulsive potentials, becomes much richer in competition between glass and crystal phases for short-range attractions. Also a transition between attractive and repulsive glass appears somewhat in analogy with the isostructural equilibrium transition between two crystals. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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