Investigating the quasi-liquid layer on ice surfaces: a comparison of order parameters

Ice surfaces are characterized by pre-melted quasi-liquid layers (QLLs), which mediate both crystal growth processes and interactions with external agents. Understanding QLLs at the molecular level is necessary to unravel the mechanisms of ice crystal formation. Computational studies of the QLLs heavily rely on the accuracy of the methods employed for identifying the local molecular environment and arrangements, discriminating between solid-like and liquid-like water molecules. 

This work by TYC and MMM Hub researchers and their colleagues, provides an assessment of the selected identification methods for multi-phase systems and highlights intriguing differences in the behaviour of the investigated ice surfaces. 

Authors: Jihong Shi, Maxwell Fulford,  Hui Li,   Mariam Marzook,  Maryam Reisjalali,  Matteo Salvalaglio and  Carla Molteni