Distinct ice patterns on solid surfaces with various wettabilities

Jie Liu, Chongqin Zhu, Kai Liu, Ying Jiang, Yanlin Song, Joseph S. Francisco, Xiao Cheng Zeng, Jianjun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


No relationship has been established between surface wettability and ice growth patterns, although ice often forms on top of solid surfaces. Here, we report experimental observations obtained using a process specially designed to avoid the influence of nucleation and describe the wettability-dependent ice morphology on solid surfaces under atmospheric conditions and the discovery of two growth modes of ice crystals: along-surface and off-surface growth modes. Using atomistic molecular dynamics simulation analysis, we show that these distinct ice growth phenomena are attributable to the presence (or absence) of bilayer ice on solid surfaces with different wettability; that is, the formation of bilayer ice on hydrophilic surface can dictate the along-surface growth mode due to the structural match between the bilayer hexagonal ice and the basal face of hexagonal ice (ice Ih), thereby promoting rapid growth of nonbasal faces along the hydrophilic surface. The dramatically different growth patterns of ice on solid surfaces are of crucial relevance to ice repellency surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11285-11290
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number43
StatePublished - Oct 24 2017


  • Antiicing
  • Ice crystal
  • Ice growth
  • Molecular dynamics simulation
  • Surface wettability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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