Supercooled Water Transforms Into New From Of Liquid During Liquid - Liquid Phase Transition | Research News From University Arkansas

Water transforms into a new form of liquid when supercooled

9:31 AM, 15th July 2013
Research on Water Chemistry
Water transforms into a new form of liquid when supercooled.

FAYETTEVILLE, US: Researchers at the University of Arkansas have identified that water, when chilled to a very low temperature, transforms into a new form of liquid. Through a simulation performed in ‘supercooled’ water, a research team led by Feng “Seymour” Wang, Chemist, confirmed a “liquid-liquid” phase transition at 207 Kelvins, or 87 degrees below zero on the Fahrenheit scale.

The properties of supercooled water are important for understanding basic processes during cryoprotection, which is the preservation of tissue or cells by liquid nitrogen so they can be thawed without damaged, said Wang.

“On a microsecond time scale, the water did not actually form ice but it transformed into a new form of liquid. The study provides strong supporting evidence of the liquid-liquid phase transition and predicted a temperature of minimum density if water can be cooled well below its normal freezing temperature. Our study shows water will expand at a very low temperature even without forming ice,” said Wang.

“Liquid–liquid transition in supercooled water suggested by microsecond simulations,” said Yaping Li and Jicun Li, Research Associates.

The liquid–liquid phase transition in supercooled water has been used to explain many anomalous behaviours of water. Direct experimental verification of such a phase transition had not been accomplished, and theoretical studies from different simulations contradicted each other, said Wang.

The University of Arkansas research team investigated the liquid–liquid phase transition using a simulation model called Water potential from Adaptive Force Matching for Ice and Liquid (WAIL). While normal water is a high-density liquid, the low-density liquid emerged at lower temperatures, according to the simulation.

© University of Arkansas News


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