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Metastable states and phase ordering dynamics

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2155-2161
Number of pages7
JournalNuovo cimento della societa italiana di fisica d-Condensed matter atomic molecular and chemical physics fluids plasmas biophysics
Issue number12BIS
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1998


In attempting to explain the onset of anomalous phase ordering kinetics in colloid-polymer mixtures, we show how the presence of a metastable phase can disrupt two-phase separation. In a region of the phase diagram with a sharp and reproducible boundary, formation of the equilibrium crystal phase is suppressed. Responsibility may lie with the metastable liquid phase, which "smothers" crystalline condensation nuclei. The simple continuum model used mimics some of the behaviour observed in colloid-polymer mixtures, and has implications for many other soft, condensed systems.

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