Researcher pushes limit of when water will freeze


The freezing point of small water beads plays an important function in the survival of animals in cold environments as a frozen water bead inside a cell causes the rupture of the cell and death. Credit: University of Houston

Though it is one of the excellent secrets of science, the improvement of water into ice typically gets away individuals’s minds as it is simply presumed that’s what occurs. But how and why it occurs is the subject of extreme analysis by ice researchers like Hadi Ghasemi, Cullen Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Houston. In order to enjoy the procedure of formation of water into ice at the molecular level, Ghasemi is reporting the very best appearance yet at the procedure: water-ice stage improvement to 2 nm (nanometers) in size.  


Then when Ghasemi took a look at these small particles, he made another discovery. He might break the limit of when water freezes and keep the small beads as liquid by putting them in contact with soft user interfaces, like gels or lipids.  

“We found that if a water droplet is in contact with a soft interface, freezing temperature could be significantly lower than hard surfaces. Also, a few-nanometer water droplet could avoid freezing down to -44 C if it is in contact with a soft interface,” Ghasemi reports in Nature Communications

The limit of freezing temperature level of a water bead is -38 C. That is, any water bead will freeze at some temperature level in between 0 C to -38 C. Below this temperature level, freezing has actually been unavoidable, previously. 

The procedure of freezing such a small water bead plays an important function in the survival of animals in cold environments as a frozen water bead inside a cell causes the rupture of the cell and death. The procedure likewise plays a crucial function in environment forecast, cloud conditions, cryopreservation of organs and innovations exposed to icing conditions such as airplane and wind turbines. 

“Experimental probing of freezing temperature of few nanometer water droplets has been an unresolved challenge. Here, through newly developed metrologies, we have been able to probe freezing of water droplets from micron scale down to 2 nm scale,” stated Ghasemi. 

Previously Ghasemi produced an ice-repelling product for aerospace applications utilizing a brand-new idea called tension localization. His existing findings add to a higher understanding of natural phenomena and offer standards for more style of anti-icing systems for air travel, wind energy and facilities and even cryopreservation systems. 


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More info:
Alireza Hakimian et al, Freezing of couple of nanometers water beads, Nature Communications (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-27346-w

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University of Houston

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Researcher pushes limit of when water will freeze (2021, December 6)
recovered 6 December 2021
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