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PUBLISHED ONLINE: 8 MARCH 2009 | DOI: 10.1038/NMAT2403 Aone-dimensionalicestructurebuiltfrompentagons
 

Summary: ARTICLES
PUBLISHED ONLINE: 8 MARCH 2009 | DOI: 10.1038/NMAT2403
Aone-dimensionalicestructurebuiltfrompentagons
Javier Carrasco1,2
, Angelos Michaelides1,2
*, Matthew Forster3
, Sam Haq3
, Rasmita Raval3
and Andrew Hodgson3
Heterogeneous ice nucleation has a key role in fields as diverse as atmospheric chemistry and biology. Ice nucleation on metal
surfaces affords an opportunity to watch this process unfold at the molecular scale on a well-defined, planar interface. A
common feature of structural models for such films is that they are built from hexagonal arrangements of molecules. Here
we show, through a combination of scanning tunnelling microscopy, infrared spectroscopy and density-functional theory, that
about 1-nm-wide ice chains that nucleate on Cu(110) are not built from hexagons, but instead are built from a face-sharing
arrangement of water pentagons. The pentagon structure is favoured over others because it maximizes the water­metal
bonding while maintaining a strong hydrogen-bonding network. It reveals an unanticipated structural adaptability of water­ice
films, demonstrating that the presence of the substrate can be sufficient to favour non-hexagonal structural units.
I
n view of the familiarity and seeming simplicity of ice nucleation,
our understanding of the molecular processes involved remains

  

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

 

Collections: Chemistry