Scientific Results

Melting dynamics of ice in the mesoscopic regime

Year: 2017

Authors: Citroni M., Fanetti S., Falsini N., Foggi P., Bini R.

Autors Affiliation: LENS-European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy, 50019 Sesto, Florence, Italy; Dipartimento di Chimica Ugo Schiff, University of Florence, 50019 Sesto, Florence, Italy; Istituto di Chimica Dei Composti Organo Metallici, Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche, 50019 Sesto, Florence, Italy; Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche, Florence, 50125, Italy; Dipartimento di Chimica, University of Perugia, Perugia, I-06123, Italy

Abstract: How does a crystal melt? How long does it take for melt nuclei to grow? The melting mechanisms have been addressed by several theoretical and experimental works, covering a subnanosecond time window with sample sizes of tens of nanometers and thus suitable to determine the onset of the process but unable to unveil the following dynamics. On the other hand, macroscopic observations of phase transitions, with millisecond or longer time resolution, account for processes occurring at surfaces and time limited by thermal contact with the environment. Here, we fill the gap between these two extremes, investigating the melting of ice in the entire mesoscopic regime. A bulk ice I-h or ice VI sample is homogeneously heated by a picosecond infrared pulse, which delivers all of the energy necessary for complete melting. The evolution of melt/ice interfaces thereafter is monitored by Mie scattering with nanosecond resolution, for all of the time needed for the sample to reequilibrate. The growth of the liquid domains, over distances of micrometers, takes hundreds of nanoseconds, a time orders of magnitude larger than expected from simple H-bond dynamics.

Journal/Review: PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Volume: 114 (23)      Pages from: 5935  to: 5940

More Information: This work was supported by the Deep Carbon Observatory initiative (Extreme Physics and Chemistry of Carbon: Forms, Transformations, and Movements in Planetary Interiors, from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation); by the Grant Futuro in Ricerca 2010 RBFR109ZHQ funded by the Italian Ministero dell\’Istruzione, Universita, Ricerca under the program Fondo Italiano per la Ricerca di Base (FIRB); and Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze under the project \”Chimica Ultraveloce ad Altissima Pressione.\”
KeyWords: ice; water, Article; dynamics; infrared radiation; ionization; low temperature; melting point; oscillation; particle size; phase transition; priority journal; thermal diffusion; volume
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1620039114

Citations: 2
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