Experimental observation of the liquid-liquid transition in bulk supercooled water under pressure

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Science  20 Nov 2020:
Vol. 370, Issue 6519, pp. 978-982
DOI: 10.1126/science.abb9385

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Liquid-liquid transitions under pressure

Theoretical simulations suggest that deeply supercooled water undergoes a transition between high- and low-density forms, but this transition is difficult to study experimentally because it occurs under conditions in which ice crystallization is extremely rapid. Kim et al. combined x-ray lasers for rapid structure determination with infrared femtosecond pulses for rapid heating of amorphous ice layers formed at about 200 kelvin. The heating process created high-density liquid water at increased pressures. As the layer expanded and decompressed, low-density liquid domains appeared and grew on time scales between 20 nanoseconds and 3 microseconds, which was much faster than competing ice crystallization.

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