Network topology of deeply supercooled water

2019-08-03T07:46:49Z (GMT) by C. Shi O. L. G. Alderman C. J. Benmore

Empirical potential structure refinements have been made to recent high-energy x-ray diffraction data, providing molecular models of deeply supercooled water. The average O-O coordination number is found to drop from 5.13 at 293 K to 4.85 at 244 K, within 3.5 Å. Triplet O-O-O bond angle distributions reveal a broad peak centred at 96.4° at 293 K which shifts to 100.0° at 244 K, indicative of the local geometry becoming increasingly tetrahedral with decreasing temperature. However, although the number of non-bonded interstitial molecules between the first and second shells is depleted upon cooling, the number of interstitial molecules forming triplets that are embedded within the hydrogen bonded tetrahedral network at θOOO = 53°, remains constant. This is consistent with previous observations of an invariant O-O coordination number with temperature (4.24 out to 3.3 Å) and corresponds to non-bonded molecules positioned at close to half the ideal tetrahedral angle. Both -O-O-O- and hydrogen-bonded -O-H-O- ring length distributions show increases in 6 and 7-membered rings upon supercooling. This is concomitant with a shift and increase in intensity of peaks at r4 ∼8.7 Å and r5 ∼10.8 Å in the oxygen-oxygen pair distribution function, which in the models correspond to correlations between adjacent and next-nearest-neighbour hydrogen-bonded rings.