Phase equilibria and glass transition in colloidal systems with short-ranged attractive interactions: Application to protein crystallization
We have studied a model of a complex fluid consisting of particles interacting through a hard-core and short-range attractive potential of both Yukawa and square-well form. Using a hybrid method, including a self-consistent and quite accurate approximation for the liquid integral equation in the case of the Yukawa fluid, perturbation theory to evaluate the crystal free energies, and mode-coupling theory of the glass transition, we determine both the equilibrium phase diagram of the system and the lines of equilibrium between the super-cooled fluid and the glass phases. For these potentials, we study the phase diagrams for different values of the potential range, the ratio of the range of the interaction to the diameter of the repulsive core being the main control parameter. Our arguments are relevant to a variety of systems, from dense colloidal systems with depletion forces, through particle gels, nanoparticle aggregation, and globular protein crystallization. © 2002 The American Physical Society.