The emergence of homochiral domains in supercooled liquid water is presented using molecular dynamics simulations. An individual water molecule possesses neither a chiral center nor a twisted conformation that can cause spontaneous chiral resolution. However, an aggregation of water molecules will naturally give rise to a collective chirality. Such homochiral domains possess obvious topological and geometrical orders and are energetically more stable than the average. However, homochiral domains cannot grow into macroscopic homogeneous structures due to geometrical frustrations arising from their icosahedral local order. Homochiral domains are the major constituent of supercooled liquid water and the origin of heterogeneity in that substance, and are expected to be enhanced in low-density amorphous ice at lower temperatures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)