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Ice nanoclusters at hydrophobic metal surfaces
 

Summary: ARTICLES
Ice nanoclusters at hydrophobic
metal surfaces
ANGELOS MICHAELIDES1,2
* AND KARINA MORGENSTERN3
1
Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Faradayweg 4-6, D-14195 Berlin, Germany
2
London Centre for Nanotechnology and Department of Chemistry, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
3
Institut f¨ur Festk¨orperphysik, Leibniz University of Hannover, Appelstr. 2, D-30167 Hannover, Germany
*e-mail: angelos.michaelides@ucl.ac.uk
Published online: 17 June 2007; doi:10.1038/nmat1940
Studies of the structure of supported water clusters provide a means for obtaining a rigorous molecular-scale description of the initial
stages of heterogeneous ice nucleation: a process of importance to fields as diverse as atmospheric chemistry, astrophysics and biology.
Here, we report the observation and characterization of metal-supported water hexamers and a family of hydrated nanoclusters--
heptamers, octamers and nonamers--through a combination of low-temperature scanning tunnelling microscopy experiments and
first-principles electronic-structure calculations. Aside from achieving unprecedented resolution of the cyclic water hexamer--the
so-called smallest piece of ice--we identify and explain a hitherto unknown competition between the ability of water molecules to
simultaneously bond to a substrate and to accept hydrogen bonds. This competition also rationalizes previous structure predictions

  

Source: Alavi, Ali - Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge

 

Collections: Chemistry