Exploratory experiments on pre-activated freezing nucleation on mercuric iodide.

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Author: Gabor Vali
Date: Feb. 19, 2021
From: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics(Vol. 21, Issue 4)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 369 words

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Abstract :

Pre-activation of freezing nucleation (PFN) with mercuric iodide was first reported by Edwards, Evans, and Zipper (Edwards et al., 1970). They found that freezing, followed by melting just a few degrees Celsius above the melting point, leads to subsequent freezing of the sample more than 10 .sup." C above the temperature of the initial nucleation temperature. Results presented in this paper are from laboratory experiments that followed the procedure designed by Edwards, Evans, and Zipper (1970) but employed multiple sample drops and many repetitions of the pre-activation cycle. The results obtained confirm the basic findings of the earlier work and refine them. It is shown that the pre-activation effect is lost gradually as the sample is heated above the melting point and that some effect is still seen with heating above +5 .sup." C. Instrumental limitation in these experiments precluded detection of pre-activated freezing above -2 .sup." C, but that possibility is not excluded. Some PFN was noted down to at least -6 .sup." C. By also drawing on the results of Seeley and Seidler (2001), PFN is analyzed in search of constraints that help define the process responsible for it. No firm conclusions are reached, but the accumulated evidence points quite clearly to the role of surface sites in leading to PFN. Thus, sites are seen to play the same role as they do in heterogeneous freezing nucleation in general. PFN differs from pore condensation and freezing described by Marcolli (2020) and David et al. (2020), in that PFN is observed in liquid water while that process takes place in the vapor phase. Further explorations of the process leading to PFN can help in understanding ice nucleation and its practical manifestations at a basic level. The results call attention to an ice nucleation pathway hitherto barely explored that can be expected to have consequences in how ice nucleation occurs in atmospheric clouds and in other systems. PFN is also a potential tool for deliberate initiation of freezing in clouds and other systems.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A652344425