Laser-induced ice nucleation

The induction of homogeneous and oriented ice nucleation has to date not been achieved. We have recently reported an induced nucleation of ice from millimeter sized supercooled water drops illuminated by ns-optical laser pulses well below the ionization threshold making use of particular laser beam configurations and polarizations.Employing a 100 ps synchrotron x-ray pulse 100 ns after each laser pulse, we observed an unambiguous correlation between the directions and the symmetry of the laser fields and that of the H-bonding arrays of the induced ice crystals. Moreover, an analysis of the x-ray diffraction data indicates that, in the main, the induced nucleation of ice is homogeneous at temperatures well above the observed and predicted values for supercooled water.

We plan to undertake a density functional theory (DFT) study of the process in the hope that we shall be able to explain it

I. Nevo, S. Jahn, N. Kretzschmar, M. Levantino, Y. Feldman, N. Naftali, M. Wulff, J. Als-Nielsen, D. Oron, L. Leiserowitz (Featured article) Evidence for laser induced, homogeneous, oriented ice nucleation revealed via pulsed X-ray diffraction. J. Chem. Physics, 2020, 153, 024504.