Surface transition on ice induced by the formation of a grain boundary
2011 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 6, no 9, e24373Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Interfaces between individual ice crystals, usually referred to as grain boundaries, play an important part in many processes in nature. Grain boundary properties are, for example, governing the sintering processes in snow and ice which transform a snowpack into a glacier. In the case of snow sintering, it has been assumed that there are no variations in surface roughness and surface melting, when considering the ice-air interface of an individual crystal. In contrast to that assumption, the present work suggests that there is an increased probability of molecular surface disorder in the vicinity of a grain boundary. The conclusion is based on the first detailed visualization of the formation of an ice grain boundary. The visualization is enabled by studying ice crystals growing into contact, at temperatures between −20°C and −15°C and pressures of 1–2 Torr, using Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy. It is observed that the formation of a grain boundary induces a surface transition on the facets in contact. The transition does not propagate across facet edges. The surface transition is interpreted as the spreading of crystal dislocations away from the grain boundary. The observation constitutes a qualitatively new finding, and can potentially increase the understanding of specific processes in nature where ice grain boundaries are involved.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 6, no 9, e24373
Engineering and Technology
Research subject Engineering Science with specialization in Nanotechnology and Functional Materials
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-158480DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024373ISI: 000294802500040PubMedID: 21915317OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-158480DiVA: diva2:439641