Counter crystal seeding phenomenon reportedPublished on April 21st, 2010 | Edited by: Peter Wray
The “seed effect” of nucleation in liquids is well known: When liquids come in contact with solids, the crystalline surface can induce layering of the adjacent atoms in the liquid and may prevent or lower supercooling. Generally, its believed that the last atomic layers of the liquid adopt the crystal structure they come in contact with.
But, a new letter in Nature from a team at the French Institute for Nanoscience and Cryogenics reports that when they put droplets of a liquid alloy on a silicon surface, it can rearrange the surface atoms so that they mimic the short-range ordering of atoms in the alloy and can inhibit freezing of the droplets.
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