ABSTRACT: The return of supercooled water to a stable equilibrium condition is an irreversible process which, in large enough samples, takes place adiabatically. We investigated this phenomenon in water by fast imaging techniques. As water freezes, large energy and density fluctuations promote the spatial coexistence of solid and liquid phases at different temperatures. Upon synchronously monitoring the time evolution of the local temperature, we observed a sharp dynamic transition between a fast and a slow decay regime at about 266.6 K. We construe the observed phenomenon in terms of the temperature dependence of heat transfers from solid and liquid volumes already at their bulk coexistence temperature towards adjacent still supercooled liquid regions. These findings can be justified by observing that convective motions induced by thermal gradients in a supercooled liquid near coexistence are rapidly suppressed as the nucleated solid fraction overcomes, at low enough temperatures, a characteristic percolation threshold.
Project description:A metastable liquid may exist under supercooling, sustaining the liquid below the melting point such as supercooled water and silicon. It may also exist as a transient state in solid-solid transitions, as demonstrated in recent studies of colloidal particles and glass-forming metallic systems. One important question is whether a crystalline solid may directly melt into a sustainable metastable liquid. By thermal heating, a crystalline solid will always melt into a liquid above the melting point. Here we report that a high-pressure crystalline phase of bismuth can melt into a metastable liquid below the melting line through a decompression process. The decompression-induced metastable liquid can be maintained for hours in static conditions, and transform to crystalline phases when external perturbations, such as heating and cooling, are applied. It occurs in the pressure-temperature region similar to where the supercooled liquid Bi is observed. Akin to supercooled liquid, the pressure-induced metastable liquid may be more ubiquitous than we thought.
Project description:We derive a phase diagram for amorphous solids and liquid supercooled water and explain why the amorphous solids of water exist in several different forms. Application of large-deviation theory allows us to prepare such phases in computer simulations. Along with nonequilibrium transitions between the ergodic liquid and two distinct amorphous solids, we establish coexistence between these two amorphous solids. The phase diagram we predict includes a nonequilibrium triple point where two amorphous phases and the liquid coexist. Whereas the amorphous solids are long-lived and slowly aging glasses, their melting can lead quickly to the formation of crystalline ice. Further, melting of the higher density amorphous solid at low pressures takes place in steps, transitioning to the lower-density glass before accessing a nonequilibrium liquid from which ice coarsens.
Project description:Akin to bulk water, water confined to an isolated nanoslit can show a wealth of new 2D phases of ice and amorphous ice, as well as unusual phase behavior. Indeed, 2D water phases, such as bilayer hexagonal ice and monolayer square ice, have been detected in the laboratory, confirming earlier computational predictions. Herein, we report theoretical evidence of a hitherto unreported state, namely, bilayer very low density amorphous ice (BL-VLDA), as well as evidence of a strong first-order transition between BL-VLDA and the BL amorphous ice (BL-A), and a weak first-order transition between BL-VLDA and the BL very low density liquid (BL-VLDL) water. The diffusivity of BL-VLDA is typically in the range of 10-9 cm2/s to 10-10 cm2/s. Similar to bulk (3D) water, 2D water can exhibit two forms of liquid in the deeply supercooled state. However, unlike supercooled bulk water, for which the two forms of liquid can coexist and merge into one at a critical point, the 2D BL-VLDL and BL high-density liquid (BL-HDL) phases are separated by the highly stable solid phase of BL-A whose melting line exhibits the isochore end point (IEP) near 220 K in the temperature-pressure diagram. Above the IEP temperature, BL-VLDL and BL-HDL are indistinguishable. At negative pressures, the metastable BL-VLDL exhibits a spatially and temporally heterogeneous structure induced by dynamic changes in the nanodomains, a feature much less pronounced in the BL-HDL.
Project description:Water is an extraordinary liquid, having a number of anomalous properties which become strongly enhanced in the supercooled region. Due to rapid crystallization of supercooled water, there exists a region that has been experimentally inaccessible for studying deeply supercooled bulk water. Using a rapid decompression technique integrated with in situ X-ray diffraction, we show that a high-pressure ice phase transforms to a low-density noncrystalline (LDN) form upon rapid release of pressure at temperatures of 140-165 K. The LDN subsequently crystallizes into ice-Ic through a diffusion-controlled process. Together with the change in crystallization rate with temperature, the experimental evidence indicates that the LDN is a low-density liquid (LDL). The measured X-ray diffraction data show that the LDL is tetrahedrally coordinated with the tetrahedral network fully developed and clearly linked to low-density amorphous ices. On the other hand, there is a distinct difference in structure between the LDL and supercooled water or liquid water in terms of the tetrahedral order parameter.
Project description:Liquid water nanodroplets are important in earth's climate, and are valuable for studying supercooled water because they resist crystallisation well below the bulk freezing temperature. Bulk liquid water has well-known thermodynamic anomalies, such as a density maximum, and when supercooled is hypothesised to exhibit a liquid-liquid phase transition (LLPT) at elevated pressure. However, it is not known how these bulk anomalies might manifest themselves in nanodroplets. Here we show, using simulations of the TIP4P/2005 water model, that bulk anomalies occur in nanodroplets as small as 360 molecules. We also show that the Laplace pressure inside small droplets reaches 220?MPa at 180?K, conditions close to the LLPT of TIP4P/2005. While the density and pressure inside nanodroplets coincide with bulk values at moderate supercooling, we show that deviations emerge at lower temperature, as well as significant radial density gradients, which arise from and signal the approach to the LLPT.
Project description:Possible transition between two phases of supercooled liquid water, namely the low- and high-density liquid water, has been only predicted to occur below 230 K from molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. However, such a phase transition cannot be detected in the laboratory because of the so-called "no-man's land" under deeply supercooled condition, where only crystalline ices have been observed. Here, we show MD simulation evidence that, inside an isolated carbon nanotube (CNT) with a diameter of 1.25 nm, both low- and high-density liquid water states can be detected near ambient temperature and above ambient pressure. In the temperature-pressure phase diagram, the low- and high-density liquid water phases are separated by the hexagonal ice nanotube (hINT) phase, and the melting line terminates at the isochore end point near 292 K because of the retracting melting line from 292 to 278 K. Beyond the isochore end point (292 K), low- and high-density liquid becomes indistinguishable. When the pressure is increased from 10 to 600 MPa along the 280-K isotherm, we observe that water inside the 1.25-nm-diameter CNT can undergo low-density liquid to hINT to high-density liquid reentrant first-order transitions.
Project description:Twenty years ago Poole et al. suggested that the anomalous properties of supercooled water may be caused by a critical point that terminates a line of liquid-liquid separation of lower-density and higher-density water. Here we present a thermodynamic model based on this hypothesis, which describes all available experimental data for supercooled water with better quality and fewer adjustable parameters than any other model. Liquid water at low temperatures is viewed as an 'athermal solution' of two molecular structures with different entropies and densities. Alternatively to popular models for water, in which liquid-liquid separation is driven by energy, the phase separation in the athermal two-state water is driven by entropy upon increasing the pressure, while the critical temperature is defined by the 'reaction' equilibrium constant. The model predicts the location of density maxima at the locus of a near-constant fraction of the lower-density structure.
Project description:If quenched fast enough, a liquid is able to avoid crystallization and will remain in a metastable supercooled state down to the glass transition, with an important increase in viscosity upon further cooling. There are important differences in the way liquids relax as they approach the glass transition, rapid or slow variation in dynamic quantities under moderate temperature changes, and a simple means to quantify such variations is provided by the concept of fragility. Here, we report molecular dynamics simulations of a typical network-forming glass, Ge-Se, and find that the relaxation behaviour of the supercooled liquid is strongly correlated to the variation of rigidity with temperature and the spatial distribution of the corresponding topological constraints, which ultimately connect to the fragility minima. This permits extending the fragility concept to aspects of topology/rigidity, and to the degree of homogeneity of the atomic-scale interactions for a variety of structural glasses.
Project description:Crystallization of IgG antibodies has important applications in the fields of structural biology, biotechnology, and biopharmaceutics. However, a rational approach to crystallize antibodies is still lacking. In this work, we report a method to estimate the solubility of antibodies at various temperatures. We experimentally determined the full phase diagram of an IgG antibody. Using the full diagram, we examined the metastability gaps, i.e., the distance between the crystal solubility line and the liquid-liquid coexistence curve, of IgG antibodies. By comparing our results to the partial phase diagrams of other IgGs reported in literature, we found that IgG antibodies have similar metastability gaps. Thereby, we present an equation with two phenomenological parameters to predict the approximate location of the solubility line of IgG antibodies with respect to their liquid-liquid coexistence curves. We have previously shown that the coexistence curve of an antibody solution can be readily determined by the polyethylene glycol-induced liquid-liquid phase separation method. Combining the polyethylene glycol-induced liquid-liquid phase separation measurements and the phenomenological equation in this article, we provide a general and practical means to predict the thermodynamic conditions for crystallizing IgG antibodies in the solution environments of interest.
Project description:Using electron spin resonance spectroscopy (ESR), we measure the rotational mobility of probe molecules highly diluted in deeply supercooled bulk water and negligibly constrained by the possible ice fraction. The mobility increases above the putative glass transition temperature of water, T(g) = 136 K, and smoothly connects to the thermodynamically stable region by traversing the so called "no man's land" (the range 150-235 K), where it is believed that the homogeneous nucleation of ice suppresses the liquid water. Two coexisting fractions of the probe molecules are evidenced. The 2 fractions exhibit different mobility and fragility; the slower one is thermally activated (low fragility) and is larger at low temperatures below a fragile-to-strong dynamic cross-over at approximately 225 K. The reorientation of the probe molecules decouples from the viscosity below approximately 225 K. The translational diffusion of water exhibits a corresponding decoupling at the same temperature [Chen S-H, et al. (2006) The violation of the Stokes-Einstein relation in supercooled water. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103:12974-12978]. The present findings are consistent with key issues concerning both the statics and the dynamics of supercooled water, namely the large structural fluctuations [Poole PH, Sciortino F, Essmann U, Stanley HE (1992) Phase behavior of metastable water. Nature 360:324-328] and the fragile-to-strong dynamic cross-over at approximately 228 K [Ito K, Moynihan CT, Angell CA (1999) Thermodynamic determination of fragility in liquids and a fragile-to-strong liquid transition in water. Nature 398:492-494].