Energetics of Hydrogen Bond Network Rearrangements in Liquid Water

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Science  29 Oct 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5697, pp. 851-853
DOI: 10.1126/science.1102560

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A strong temperature dependence of oxygen K-edge x-ray absorption fine structure features was observed for supercooled and normal liquid water droplets prepared from the breakup of a liquid microjet. Analysis of the data over the temperature range 251 to 288 kelvin (–22° to +15°C) yields a value of 1.5 ± 0.5 kilocalories per mole for the average thermal energy required to effect an observable rearrangement between the fully coordinated (“ice-like”) and distorted (“broken-donor”) local hydrogen-bonding configurations responsible for the pre-edge and post-edge features, respectively. This energy equals the latent heat of melting of ice with hexagonal symmetry (ice Ih) and is consistent with the distribution of hydrogen bond strengths obtained for the “overstructured” ST2 model of water.

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