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Detection of the Metastable Ice Phase During Water Crystallization

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BACKGROUND: Under atmospheric pressure, the identifiable phases of ice crystals are hexagonal (stable) and cubic (metastable). OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to test the hypothesis that water crystallizes into the cubic phase at the beginning and then changes to the hexagonal phase. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Aqueous solutions of 40% (w/w) and 50% (w/w) glucose, and 40% (w/w) ammonium hydrogen sulfate, as well as emulsified water, were investigated. RESULTS: The cubic-to-hexagonal ice phase transition was detected in 40% (w/w) glucose solution within a 1 s integration interval, whereas the cubic ice formed in 50% (w/w) glucose solution did not transition to the hexagonal phase. The cubic phase was also confirmed in the 40% (w/w) ammonium hydrogen sulfate solution, but not in emulsified water. CONCLUSION: The cubic-to-hexagonal ice phase transition was detected in three aqueous solutions tested upon freezing. It was not possible to clearly capture the transition process in emulsified water under the study condition.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2020

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  • CryoLetters is a bimonthly international journal for low temperature sciences, including cryobiology, cryopreservation or vitrification of cells and tissues, chemical and physical aspects of freezing and drying, and studies involving ecology of cold environments, and cold adaptation

    The journal publishes original research reports, authoritative reviews, technical developments and commissioned book reviews of studies of the effects produced by low temperatures on a wide variety of scientific and technical processes, or those involving low temperature techniques in the investigation of physical, chemical, biological and ecological problems.

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