Scientists detected new phases of water acting like neither a liquid nor a solid

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have found that water behaves neither like a liquid nor a solid in a single molecule layer and that under extreme pressures, it becomes electrically conductive.

Water normally expands when it freezes, and it has a high boiling point. However, the new research demonstrates that when water is compressed to the nanoscale, its properties change dramatically.

A thorough understanding of the behavior of water has not yet been possible due to the difficulties in experimentally characterizing its nanoscale phases. However, the Cambridge-led team describes how they were able to anticipate the phase diagram of a one-molecule thick layer of water with extraordinary accuracy, according to the statement.

Hexatic and Superionic phases

Scientists discovered that water that is contained in a layer that is one molecule thick travels through several phases, including a "hexatic" phase and a "superionic" phase.

The water behaves in the hexatic phase as something in-between, neither a solid nor a liquid. At greater pressures, during the superionic phase, the water turns highly conductive, and protons are propelled swiftly through ice in a manner akin to the movement of electrons in a conductor.

"The hexatic phase is neither a solid nor a liquid, but an intermediate, which agrees with previous theories about two-dimensional materials," said Dr. Venkat Kapil from Cambridge's Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry, the paper's first author.

"Our approach suggests that this phase can be seen experimentally by confining water in a graphene channel."

"The existence of the superionic phase at easily accessible conditions is peculiar, as this phase is generally found in extreme conditions like the core of Uranus and Neptune. One way to visualize this phase is that the oxygen atoms form a solid lattice, and protons flow like a liquid through the lattice, like kids running through a maze," he also added.

The findings not only point to a new way to discover superionic behavior in other materials but also to a new way to understand how water behaves at the nanoscale.

The results were published in Nature on September 14.

Scientists detected new phases of water acting like neither a liquid nor a solid Scientists detected new phases of water acting like neither a liquid nor a solid Reviewed by Rauf ahmed on September 18, 2022 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.