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Issue 19, 2011
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How many amorphous ices are there?

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Many acronyms are used in the literature for describing different kinds of amorphous ice, mainly because many different preparation routes and many different sample histories need to be distinguished. We here introduce these amorphous ices and discuss the question of how many of these forms are of relevance in the context of polyamorphism. We employ the criterion of reversible transitions between amorphous “states” in finite intervals of pressure and temperature to discriminate between independent metastable amorphous “states” and between “substates” of the same amorphous “state”. We argue that the experimental evidence suggests we should consider there to be three polyamorphic “states” of ice, namely low-(LDA), high-(HDA) and very high-density amorphous ice (VHDA). In addition to the realization of reversible transitions between them, they differ in terms of their properties, e.g., compressibility, or number of “interstitial” water molecules. Thus they cannot be regarded as structurally relaxed variants of each other and so we suggest considering them as three distinct megabasins in an energy landscape visualization.

Graphical abstract: How many amorphous ices are there?

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Article information

19 Nov 2010
14 Jan 2011
First published
23 Mar 2011

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011,13, 8783-8794
Article type

How many amorphous ices are there?

T. Loerting, K. Winkel, M. Seidl, M. Bauer, C. Mitterdorfer, P. H. Handle, C. G. Salzmann, E. Mayer, J. L. Finney and D. T. Bowron, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011, 13, 8783
DOI: 10.1039/C0CP02600J

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