Phase transitions of ordered ice in graphene nanocapillaries and carbon nanotubes

Muralikrishna Raju, Adri Van Duin, Matthias Ihme

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New phase diagrams for water confined in graphene nanocapillaries and single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are proposed, identifying ice structures, their melting points and revealing the presence of a solid-liquid critical point. For quasi-2D water in nanocapillaries, we show through molecular-dynamics simulations that AA stacking in multilayer quasi-2D ice arises from interlayer hydrogen-bonding and is stable up to three layers, thereby explaining recent experimental observations. Detailed structural and energetic analyses show that quasi-2D water can freeze discontinuously through a first-order phase transition or continuously with a critical point. The first-order transition line extends to a continuous transition line, defined by a sharp transition in diffusivity between solid-like and liquid-like regimes. For quasi-1D water, confined in CNTs, we observe the existence of a similar critical point at intermediate densities. In addition, an end point is identified on the continuous-transition line, above which the solid and liquid phases deform continuously. The solid-liquid phase transition temperatures in CNTs are shown to be substantially higher than 273 K, confirming recent Raman spectroscopy measurements. We observe ultrafast proton and hydroxyl transport in quasi-1D and -2D ice at 300 K, exceeding those of bulk water up to a factor of five, thereby providing possible applications to fuel-cells and electrolyzers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3851
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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