Electrostatics and aggregation: how charge can turn a crystal into a gel.

@article{Schmit2011ElectrostaticsAA,
  title={Electrostatics and aggregation: how charge can turn a crystal into a gel.},
  author={Jeremy D Schmit and Stephen Whitelam and Ken A. Dill},
  journal={The Journal of chemical physics},
  year={2011},
  volume={135 8},
  pages={085103}
}
The crystallization of proteins or colloids is often hindered by the appearance of aggregates of low fractal dimension called gels. Here we study the effect of electrostatics upon crystal and gel formation using an analytic model of hard spheres bearing point charges and short range attractive interactions. We find that the chief electrostatic free energy cost of forming assemblies comes from the entropic loss of counterions that render assemblies charge-neutral. Because there exists more… CONTINUE READING