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Title: Molecular simulations of heterogeneous ice nucleation. I. Controlling ice nucleation through surface hydrophilicity

Ice formation is one of the most common and important processes on earth and almost always occurs at the surface of a material. A basic understanding of how the physicochemical properties of a material’s surface affect its ability to form ice has remained elusive. Here, we use molecular dynamics simulations to directly probe heterogeneous ice nucleation at a hexagonal surface of a nanoparticle of varying hydrophilicity. Surprisingly, we find that structurally identical surfaces can both inhibit and promote ice formation and analogous to a chemical catalyst, it is found that an optimal interaction between the surface and the water exists for promoting ice nucleation.We use our microscopic understanding of the mechanism to design a modified surface in silico with enhanced ice nucleating ability. C 2015 Author(s). All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics, 142(18):184704
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States