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High density amorphous ice at room temperature

By Jing-Yin Chen and Choong-Shik Yoo


The phase diagram of water is both unusual and complex, exhibiting a wide range of polymorphs including proton-ordered or disordered forms. In addition, a variety of stable and metastable forms are observed. The richness of H2O phases attests the versatility of hydrogen-bonded network structures that include kinetically stable amorphous ices. Information of the amorphous solids, however, is rarely available especially for the stability field and transformation dynamics—but all reported to exist below the crystallization temperature of approximately 150–170 K below 4–5 GPa. Here, we present the evidence of high density amorphous (HDA) ice formed well above the crystallization temperature at 1 GPa—well inside the so-called “no-man’s land.” It is formed from metastable ice VII in the stability field of ice VI under rapid compression using dynamic-diamond anvil cell (d-DAC) and results from structural similarities between HDA and ice VII. The formation follows an interfacial growth mechanism unlike the melting process. Nevertheless, the occurrence of HDA along the extrapolated melt line of ice VII resembles the ice Ih-to-HDA transition, indicating that structural instabilities of parent ice VII and Ih drive the pressure-induced amorphization

Topics: Physical Sciences
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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