Heterogeneous Ice Nucleation Controlled by the Coupling of Surface Crystallinity and Surface Hydrophilicity Journal Article uri icon

DCO ID 11121/2741-5106-2504-2617-CC

is Contribution to the DCO

  • YES

year of publication

  • 2016


  • The microscopic mechanisms controlling heterogeneous ice nucleation are complex and remain poorly understood. Although good ice nucleators are generally believed to match ice lattice and to bind water, counter examples are often identified. Here we show, by advanced molecular simulations, that the heterogeneous nucleation of ice on graphitic surface is controlled by the coupling of surface crystallinity and surface hydrophilicity. Molecular level analysis reveals that the crystalline graphitic lattice with an appropriate hydrophilicity may indeed template ice basal plane by forming a strained ice layer, thus significantly enhancing its ice nucleation efficiency. Remarkably, the templating effect is found to transit from within the first contact layer of water to the second as the hydrophilicity increases, yielding an oscillating distinction between the crystalline and amorphous graphitic surfaces in their ice nucleation efficiencies. Our study sheds new light on the long-standing question of what constitutes a good ice nucleator.


  • 120


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