Authors: A. Shiryayev and J.D. Gunton
Affilation: Lehigh University, United States
Pages: 168 - 171
Keywords: nanoparticle, protein, crystallization, nucleation
A continuum model of the self-assembly of globular protein nanoparticles proposed by Talanquer and Oxtoby (J. Chem. Phys. 109, 223 (1998)) is investigated numerically, with particular emphasis on the region near the metastable fluid-fluid coexistence curve. The free energy barrier that separates a protein rich metastable fluid phase from its stable crystalline phase is studied for a variety of nucleation pathways in the metastable region. As shown earlier, the nucleation barrier is smallest in the vicinity of the fluid-fluid critical point. An approximate analytic solution is also presented for the shape and properties of the nucleating crystal droplet.