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Fast crystalline ice formation at extremely low temperature through water/neon matrix sublimation

Abstract

Crystalline ice formation requires water molecules to be sufficiently mobile to find and settle in the thermodynamically most stable site. Upon cooling, however, diffusion and rearrangement become increasingly kinetically difficult. Water ice grown by the condensation of water vapor in laboratory thus generally assumes a metastable amorphous form below 100 K. Here, we demonstrate the possibility of crystalline ice formation at extremely low temperature using a water/neon matrix (1/1000, 30,000 monolayers) prepared at 6 K, which is subsequently warmed to 11–12 K. In situ infrared spectroscopy revealed the assembly of the dispersed water molecules, forming crystalline ice I during sublimation of the neon matrix for 40–250 seconds. This finding indicates that the high mobility of the water molecules during matrix sublimation can overcome the kinetic barrier to crystal formation even at extremely low temperature.

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 May 2017, accepted on 16 Jun 2017 and first published on 16 Jun 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP03315J
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Fast crystalline ice formation at extremely low temperature through water/neon matrix sublimation

    T. Hama, S. Ishizuka, T. Yamazaki, Y. Kimura, A. Kouchi, N. Watanabe, T. Sugimoto and V. Pirronello, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7CP03315J

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