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J Chem Phys. 2006 Oct 14;125(14):144503.

Supercooling of aqueous NaCl and KCl solutions under acoustic levitation.

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Department of Applied Physics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xian 710072, People's Republic of China.


The supercooling capability of aqueous NaCl and KCl solutions is investigated at containerless state by using acoustic levitation method. The supercooling of water is obviously enhanced by the alkali metal ions and increases linearly with the augmentation of concentrations. Furthermore, the supercooling depends on the nature of ions and is 2-3 K larger for NaCl solution than that for KCl solution in the present concentration range: Molecular dynamics simulations are performed to reveal the intrinsic correlation between supercoolability and microstructure. The translational and orientational order parameters are applied to quantitatively demonstrate the effect of ionic concentration on the hydrogen-bond network and ice melting point. The disrupted hydrogen-bond structure determines essentially the concentration dependence of supercooling. On the other hand, the introduced acoustic pressure suppresses the increase of supercooling by promoting the growth and coalescence of microbubbles, the effective nucleation catalysts, in water. However, the dissolved ions can weaken this effect, and moreover the degree varies with the ion type. This results in the different supercoolability for NaCl and KCl solutions under the acoustic levitation conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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