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Two Liquid Phases Found in Molecular Model of Water: Letter to Nature

In today’s issue of the journal Nature, a Letter describes unambiguous evidence for a liquid-liquid transition in a modern model of water—the ST2 model—at deep supercoolings, and even shows coexistence between the two liquid forms, which differ in density and average coordination number.  This behavior is thought to underpin several of the unusual properties of water at shallower undercoolings, such as the steep increases in compressibility, heat capacity, and thermal expansivity.  The research team, led by Pablo Debenedetti, Class of 1950 Professor in Engineering and Applied Science, included members from both CBE and Chemistry:   CBE Postdoctoral Associate Jeremy Palmer, lead author; CBE Ph.D. alumna Yang Liu *12; Athanassios Panagiotopoulos, Susan Dod Brown Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering; Chemistry Postdoctoral Associate Fausto Martelli; and Roberto Car, Ralph W. *31 Dornte Professor in Chemistry.  For more information, see the research article, “Metastable liquid-liquid transition in a molecular model of water”, or the story posted on the Princeton University homepage.