Chiral Ordering in Supercooled Liquid Water and Amorphous Ice

Last update: March 14, 2016

Our paper has been published in Physical Review Letters.


Matsumoto, M.; Yagasaki, T.; Tanaka, H. Chiral Ordering in Supercooled Liquid Water and Amorphous Ice. Phys. Rev. Lett. 2015, 115 (19), 197801. DOI:10.1103/PhysRevE.91.016302


Research Highlights (Okayama University, Feb. 2016)


Water expands when it is cooled below 4ºC, and it keeps expanding even below the melting point.  This anomalous expansion accompanies the decrease of mobility, energy and entropy, and therefore it is analogized to become “ice-like”.  However, nobody has succeeded to identify its structure.  In this paper, we identified the most abundant structure in the supercooled liquid water and amorphous ice by molecular dynamics simulations and topological matching technique.  This tiny and twisted structure is as stable as crystal ice and exists as nano-sized grains.  The grains are chiral, i.e. there are two kinds of structures in mirror symmetry.  Discovery of this new ordered structure in liquid water will provide us a new way of recognizing the “structured water” in the confined geomtry, in amorphous ice, and around the biomolecules.