Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New properties of supercooled confined water discovered

Date:
May 16, 2011
Source:
Universidad de Barcelona
Summary:
A new study suggests that hydrophobic nanoconfinement can alter the thermodynamics of water at supercool temperatures. These findings may have important applications in fields related to conservation at cryogenic temperatures (around minus 100 degrees Celsius) -- for example, in the preservation of stem cells, blood and food products.

In this study, the team used Monte Carlo simulations to study a layer of water only one nanometre high – approximately equivalent to the diameter of three water molecules – confined between two hydrophobic plates.
Credit: Image courtesy of Universidad de Barcelona

A study led by the UB researcher Giancarlo Franzese and published in the journal Physical Review Letters suggests that hydrophobic nanoconfinement can alter the thermodynamics of water at supercool temperatures. These findings may have important applications in fields related to conservation at cryogenic temperatures (around -100 ēC) -- for example, in the preservation of stem cells, blood and food products.

The team behind the study, led by Giancarlo Franzese from the UB's Department of Fundamental Physics, included researchers from Boston University and TU Berlin.

Water exhibits atypical fluid behaviour. One of its unique characteristics is the increase in heat capacity as water cools, an anomaly that enables us to regulate our body temperature. When water is supercooled -- that is, when it is in liquid state at a temperature below its melting point -- the range of anomalies expands. This irregular behaviour has generated fierce scientific debate over the last twenty years and could hold the key to understanding why water is so different to other liquids and why it is so important for biological organisms.

From a technical perspective, it is difficult to observe supercooled water directly and many researchers opt to use nanoconfinement. In this study, the team used Monte Carlo simulations to study a layer of water only one nanometre high -- approximately equivalent to the diameter of three water molecules -- confined between two hydrophobic plates. Hydrophobic nanoparticles were then added to the water layer in random positions to generate nanochannels or variable size.

This process led to a strong decrease in thermodynamic fluctuations, reflected in compressibility, thermal expansion coefficient and specific heat. The observed decrease occurred at all pressures tested, and at pressures in the region of 180 MPa fluctuations dropped by almost 99% for a concentration in nanoparticles of 25% by volume. The reduction was found to be as high as 90% even at a particle concentration ten times lower.

According to Giancarlo Franzese, the results show that the thermodynamic behaviour of water confined in hydrophobic nanochannels is very different to that of unconfined water, even allowing for the possible presence of more than one liquid phase within the range of temperatures and pressures tested.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universidad de Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Elena Strekalova, Marco Mazza, H. Stanley, Giancarlo Franzese. Large Decrease of Fluctuations for Supercooled Water in Hydrophobic Nanoconfinement. Physical Review Letters, 2011; 106 (14) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.145701

Cite This Page:

Universidad de Barcelona. "New properties of supercooled confined water discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110512082945.htm>.
Universidad de Barcelona. (2011, May 16). New properties of supercooled confined water discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110512082945.htm
Universidad de Barcelona. "New properties of supercooled confined water discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110512082945.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) — The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) — The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) — President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) — Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins