Spontaneous liquid-liquid phase separation of water

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Abstract

We report a molecular dynamics simulation demonstrating a fast spontaneous liquid-liquid phase separation of water and a subsequent slow crystallization to ice. It is found that supercooled water separates rapidly into low- and high-density domains so as to reduce the surface energy in the rectangular simulation cell at certain thermodynamic states. The liquid-liquid phase separation, which is about two orders of magnitude faster than the crystallization, suggests a possibility to observe this phenomenon experimentally.

Original languageEnglish
Article number020301
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Volume89
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 25 2014

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Phase Separation
liquid phases
Liquid
crystallization
Water
liquids
Crystallization
water
surface energy
ice
simulation
molecular dynamics
thermodynamics
Surface Energy
cells
Molecular Dynamics Simulation
Thermodynamics
Cell
Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability

Cite this

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abstract = "We report a molecular dynamics simulation demonstrating a fast spontaneous liquid-liquid phase separation of water and a subsequent slow crystallization to ice. It is found that supercooled water separates rapidly into low- and high-density domains so as to reduce the surface energy in the rectangular simulation cell at certain thermodynamic states. The liquid-liquid phase separation, which is about two orders of magnitude faster than the crystallization, suggests a possibility to observe this phenomenon experimentally.",
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