5 years ago

Role of Salt, Pressure, and Water Activity on Homogeneous Ice Nucleation

Role of Salt, Pressure, and Water Activity on Homogeneous Ice Nucleation
Chantal Valeriani, Eduardo Sanz, Carlos Vega, Jorge Ramirez, Jorge R. Espinosa, Guiomar D. Soria
Pure water can be substantially supercooled below the melting temperature without transforming into ice. The achievable supercooling can be enhanced by adding solutes or by applying hydrostatic pressure. Avoiding ice formation is of great importance in the cryopreservation of food or biological samples. In this Letter, we investigate the similarity between the effects of pressure and salt on ice formation using a combination of state-of-the-art simulation techniques. We find that both hinder ice formation by increasing the energetic cost of creating the ice–fluid interface. Moreover, we examine the widely accepted proposal that the ice nucleation rate for different pressures and solute concentrations can be mapped through the activity of water [Koop, L.; Tsias, P. Nature, 2000, 406, 611]. We show that such a proposal is not consistent with the nucleation rates predicted in our simulations because it does not include all parameters affecting ice nucleation. Therefore, even though salt and pressure have a qualitatively similar effect on ice formation, they cannot be quantitatively mapped onto one another.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b01551

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b01551

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