Published Research - Department of Chemistry


Date of this Version



PNAS 114:43 (October 24, 2017), pp 11285–11290.

doi 10.1073/pnas.1712829114


Copyright 2017 Jie Liu, Chongqin Zhu, Kai Liu, Ying Jiang, Yanlin Song, Joseph S. Francisco, Xiao Cheng Zeng, and Jianjun Wang


No relationship has been established between surface wettability and ice growth patterns, although ice often forms on top of solid surfaces. Here, we report experimental observations obtained using a process specially designed to avoid the influence of nucleation and describe the wettability-dependent ice morphology on solid surfaces under atmospheric conditions and the discovery of two growth modes of ice crystals: along-surface and off-surface growth modes. Using atomistic molecular dynamics simulation analysis, we show that these distinct ice growth phenomena are attributable to the presence (or absence) of bilayer ice on solid surfaces with different wettability; that is, the formation of bilayer ice on hydrophilic surface can dictate the along-surface growth mode due to the structural match between the bilayer hexagonal ice and the basal face of hexagonal ice (ice Ih), thereby promoting rapid growth of nonbasal faces along the hydrophilic surface. The dramatically different growth patterns of ice on solid surfaces are of crucial relevance to ice repellency surfaces.

Includes supplementary materials.

Liu PNAS 2017.mp4 (5763 kB)
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