5 years ago

Enhanced heterogeneous ice nucleation by special surface geometry

Enhanced heterogeneous ice nucleation by special surface geometry
Tianshu Li, Yuanfei Bi, Boxiao Cao
The freezing of water typically proceeds through impurity-mediated heterogeneous nucleation. Although non-planar geometry generically exists on the surfaces of ice nucleation centres, its role in nucleation remains poorly understood. Here we show that an atomically sharp, concave wedge can further promote ice nucleation with special wedge geometries. Our molecular analysis shows that significant enhancements of ice nucleation can emerge both when the geometry of a wedge matches the ice lattice and when such lattice match does not exist. In particular, a 45° wedge is found to greatly enhance ice nucleation by facilitating the formation of special topological defects that consequently catalyse the growth of regular ice. Our study not only highlights the active role of defects in nucleation but also suggests that the traditional concept of lattice match between a nucleation centre and crystalline lattice should be extended to include a broader match with metastable, non-crystalline structural motifs.

Publisher URL: http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15372

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15372

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.