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Title: Nonthermal ice nucleation observed at distorted contact lines of supercooled water drops

Abstract

Ice nucleation is the crucial step for ice formation in atmospheric clouds and therefore underlies climatologically relevant precipitation and radiative properties. Some progress has been made in understanding the roles of temperature, supersaturation, and material properties, but an explanation for the efficient ice nucleation occurring when a particle contacts a supercooled water drop has been elusive for over half a century. Here, we explore ice nucleation initiated at constant temperature and observe that mechanical agitation induces freezing of supercooled water drops at distorted contact lines. Results show that symmetric motion of supercooled water on a vertically oscillating substrate does not freeze, no matter how we agitate it. However, when the moving contact line is distorted with the help of trace amounts of oil or inhomogeneous pinning on the substrate, freezing can occur at temperatures much higher than in a static droplet, equivalent to ~1010 increase in nucleation rate. Several possible mechanisms are proposed to explain the observations. One plausible explanation among them, decreased pressure due to interface curvature, is explored theoretically and compared with the observational results quasiquantitatively. Indeed, the observed freezing-temperature increase scales with contact line speed in a manner consistent with the pressure hypothesis. Whatever the mechanism, themore » experiments demonstrate a strong preference for ice nucleation at three-phase contact lines compared to the two-phase interface, and they also show that movement and distortion of the contact line are necessary contributions to stimulating the nucleation process.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [4]
  1. Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, MI (United States). Dept. of Physics and Atmospheric Sciences Program; Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
  2. Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, MI (United States). Dept. of Physics
  3. Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, MI (United States). Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
  4. Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, MI (United States). Dept. of Physics and Atmospheric Sciences Program
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1424988
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1419697
Report Number(s):
BNL-203309-2018-JAAM
Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0045; PLEEE8; TRN: US1801989
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0012704; SC0011690; AGS-1639868
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review E
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 97; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0045
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Yang, Fan, Cruikshank, Owen, He, Weilue, Kostinski, Alex, and Shaw, Raymond A. Nonthermal ice nucleation observed at distorted contact lines of supercooled water drops. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.97.023103.
Yang, Fan, Cruikshank, Owen, He, Weilue, Kostinski, Alex, & Shaw, Raymond A. Nonthermal ice nucleation observed at distorted contact lines of supercooled water drops. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.97.023103.
Yang, Fan, Cruikshank, Owen, He, Weilue, Kostinski, Alex, and Shaw, Raymond A. Tue . "Nonthermal ice nucleation observed at distorted contact lines of supercooled water drops". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.97.023103. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1424988.
@article{osti_1424988,
title = {Nonthermal ice nucleation observed at distorted contact lines of supercooled water drops},
author = {Yang, Fan and Cruikshank, Owen and He, Weilue and Kostinski, Alex and Shaw, Raymond A.},
abstractNote = {Ice nucleation is the crucial step for ice formation in atmospheric clouds and therefore underlies climatologically relevant precipitation and radiative properties. Some progress has been made in understanding the roles of temperature, supersaturation, and material properties, but an explanation for the efficient ice nucleation occurring when a particle contacts a supercooled water drop has been elusive for over half a century. Here, we explore ice nucleation initiated at constant temperature and observe that mechanical agitation induces freezing of supercooled water drops at distorted contact lines. Results show that symmetric motion of supercooled water on a vertically oscillating substrate does not freeze, no matter how we agitate it. However, when the moving contact line is distorted with the help of trace amounts of oil or inhomogeneous pinning on the substrate, freezing can occur at temperatures much higher than in a static droplet, equivalent to ~1010 increase in nucleation rate. Several possible mechanisms are proposed to explain the observations. One plausible explanation among them, decreased pressure due to interface curvature, is explored theoretically and compared with the observational results quasiquantitatively. Indeed, the observed freezing-temperature increase scales with contact line speed in a manner consistent with the pressure hypothesis. Whatever the mechanism, the experiments demonstrate a strong preference for ice nucleation at three-phase contact lines compared to the two-phase interface, and they also show that movement and distortion of the contact line are necessary contributions to stimulating the nucleation process.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevE.97.023103},
journal = {Physical Review E},
number = 2,
volume = 97,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {2}
}

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Figures / Tables:

FIG. 1 FIG. 1: Response of a 30 µL A) pure water and B) water with a trace amount (10 mg/ml) of pump oil on a silica glass substrate for different amplitudes at 30 Hz and −17.0 ± 0.5 °C. Amplitude is represented by the maximum velocity (v in unit of cm/s)more » of the substrate for each case, with v = ωA. Equal-time increments from individual experiments are separated by vertical red dash lines. The thick blue line is the relative spreading distance measured from a side view. The thin blue line is the estimated uncertainty. The relative spreading distance is defined as (D(t)−D0)/D0, where D(t) is the diameter captured from the side view using 1000 Hz frame rate with 27.8 µm resolution, and D0 is the diameter of droplet before vibration. Grey lines in B are the response of pure water for comparison. The red bars represent the fraction of drops that experience freezing (freezing probability) for each case.« less

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    Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.