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Langmuir. 2004 Jan 6;20(1):41-5.

Homogeneous nucleation of water in mesoporous zeolite cavities.

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Department of Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Debye Institute, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80083, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands.


In this paper, we show that water inside mesoporous cavities in zeolites can be supercooled to ca. -40 degrees C at which point homogeneous nucleation of the water takes place. The fundamental phenomena observed here are similar to those reported earlier in for example emulsion droplets or droplets in the vapor phase. However, as these zeolite materials are widely available, they may provide an easily accessible source for studies of supercooled liquids in confinements. Next to this, it is now possible to discriminate with thermoporometry between mesoporous cavities inside the zeolite crystals, in which homogeneous nucleation takes place, and mesopores that are connected to the external surface in which heterogeneous nucleation takes place.

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