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Issue 38, 2012
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Studies of cavitation and ice nucleation in ‘doubly-metastable’ water: time-lapse photography and neutron diffraction

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Abstract

High-speed photographic studies and neutron diffraction measurements have been made of water under tension in a Berthelot tube. Liquid water was cooled below the normal ice-nucleation temperature and was in a doubly-metastable state prior to a collapse of the liquid state. This transition was accompanied by an exothermic heat release corresponding with the rapid production of a solid phase nucleated by cavitation. Photographic techniques have been used to observe the phase transition over short time scales in which a solidification front is observed to propagate through the sample. Significantly, other images at a shorter time interval reveal the prior formation of cavitation bubbles at the beginning of the process. The ice-nucleation process is explained in terms of a mechanism involving hydrodynamically-induced changes in tension in supercooled water in the near vicinity of an expanding cavitation bubble. Previous explanations have attributed the nucleation of the solid phase to the production of high positive pressures. Corresponding results are presented which show the initial neutron diffraction pattern after ice-nucleation. The observed pattern does not exhibit the usual crystalline pattern of hexagonal ice [Ih] that is formed under ambient conditions, but indicates the presence of other ice forms. The composite features can be attributed to a mixture of amorphous ice, ice-Ih/Ic and the high-pressure form, ice-III, and the diffraction pattern continues to evolve over a time period of about an hour.

Graphical abstract: Studies of cavitation and ice nucleation in ‘doubly-metastable’ water: time-lapse photography and neutron diffraction

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Jun 2012, accepted on 14 Aug 2012 and first published on 23 Aug 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2CP41925D
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012,14, 13255-13261
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    Studies of cavitation and ice nucleation in ‘doubly-metastable’ water: time-lapse photography and neutron diffraction

    M. S. Barrow, P. R. Williams, H. Chan, J. C. Dore and M. Bellissent-Funel, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012, 14, 13255
    DOI: 10.1039/C2CP41925D

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