Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists discover pentagonal ice

09.04.2009
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have discovered a five-sided ice chain structure that could be used to modify future weather patterns.

Researchers, in collaboration with University College London and the Fritz-Haber Institut in Berlin, created the first moments of water condensing on matter – a process vital for the formation of clouds in the atmosphere – by analysing how the two interact on a flat copper surface.

Ice has rarely been viewed at the nanoscale before and the team discovered a one-dimensional chain structure built from pentagon-shaped rings, rather than the more commonly seen hexagonal structures of ice formations like those seen in snowflakes.

This discovery could lead to scientists developing new materials for seeding clouds and causing rain. Cloud seeding is a form of weather modification, where the amount or type of precipitation that falls from clouds is altered by dispersing substances into the air which modify cloud particles. This process can increase amounts of rain and snow but can also be used to suppress hail and fog. The substances currently used to seed clouds are chosen to bind to hexagonal ice, but this work suggests that the process could work equally well with materials which bind to other structures.

Professor Andrew Hodgson, from the University's Surface Science Research Centre, said: "Water is a ubiquitous material that is central to many biological and chemical reactions, but its influence is often indirect and difficult to understand. Water usually takes on hexagonal arrangements, like those seen in snowflakes, yet this research has shown that the intricate, nanoscale structure of ice can actually be built from one-dimensional pentagons.

"Ice crystals form against flat, solid surfaces and watching the microscopic process take place on copper has provided detailed information on how ice forms at interfaces. The research will help to improve our understanding of how ice patterns form and how water is structured at metal interfaces.

"Many important chemical reactions take place at interfaces so understanding the structure of water in these environments will allow scientists to make better models of these processes. With a better understanding of how ice crystals form in the upper atmosphere, new and cheaper materials could now be developed that could be used across the globe to seed clouds and modify weather patterns."

The research is published in Nature Materials.

Laura Johnson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.liverpool.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>