On the thermodynamic and kinetic aspects of immersion ice nucleation

Barahona, Donifan

Heterogeneous ice nucleation initiated by particles immersed within droplets is likely the main pathway of ice formation in the atmosphere. Theoretical models commonly used to describe this process assume that it mimics ice formation from the vapor, neglecting interactions unique to the liquid phase. This work introduces a new approach that accounts for such interactions by linking the ability of particles to promote ice formation to the modification of the properties of water near the particle–liquid interface. It is shown that the same mechanism that lowers the thermodynamic barrier for ice nucleation also tends to decrease the mobility of water molecules, hence the ice–liquid interfacial flux. Heterogeneous ice nucleation in the liquid phase is thus determined by the competition between thermodynamic and kinetic constraints to the formation and propagation of ice. At the limit, ice nucleation may be mediated by kinetic factors instead of the nucleation work. This new ice nucleation regime is termed spinodal ice nucleation. The comparison of predicted nucleation rates against published data suggests that some materials of atmospheric relevance may nucleate ice in this regime.

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Barahona, Donifan: On the thermodynamic and kinetic aspects of immersion ice nucleation. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Donifan Barahona

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