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Heterogeneous ice nucleation correlates with bulk-like interfacial water

Wu, S., He, Z., Zang, J., Jin, S., Wang, Z., Wang, J., Yao, Y. and Wang, J. (2019) Heterogeneous ice nucleation correlates with bulk-like interfacial water. Science Advances, 5 (4). eaat9825. ISSN 2375-2548

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat9825


Establishing a direct correlation between interfacial water and heterogeneous ice nucleation (HIN) is essential for understanding the mechanism of ice nucleation. Here, we study the HIN efficiency of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) surfaces with different densities of hydroxyl groups. We find that the HIN efficiency increases with the decrease of the hydroxyl group density. By explicitly considering that interfacial water molecules of PVA films consist of ‘tightly bound water’, ‘bound water’ and ‘bulk-like water’, we reveal that ‘bulk-like water’ can be correlated directly to the HIN efficiency of surfaces. As the density of hydroxyl groups decreases, ‘bulk-like water’ molecules can rearrange themselves with a reduced energy barrier into ice due to the diminishing constraint by the hydroxyl groups on the PVA surface. Our study not only provides a new strategy on experimentally controlling HIN efficiency but also gives another perspective in understanding the mechanism of ice nucleation, i.e., the phase change efficiency of ‘bulk-like’ interfacial water of a film is a predictor for the HIN efficiency of that film.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Mathematics and Statistics
ID Code:82708
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science


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