Temperature dependence of ice critical nucleus size

Rodolfo G. Pereyra*, Igal Szleifer, Marcelo A. Carignano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


We present a molecular dynamics study of ice growth from supercooled water. By performing a series of simulations with different initial conditions, we have quantitative established the relationship existing between the critical nucleus size and the temperature. The results show that ice embryos containing hundreds or thousands of molecules are needed for the system to crystallize macroscopically, even at high degrees of supercooling. Our findings explain the difficulty in observing spontaneous ice nucleation in atomistic simulations and the relative ease with which water droplets can be supercooled under controlled experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number034508
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 21 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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