Water can freeze into diverse ice polymorphs depending on the external conditions such as temperature (T) and pressure (P). Herein, molecular dynamics simulations show evidence of a high-density orthorhombic phase, termed ice χ, forming spontaneously from liquid water at room temperature under high-pressure and high external electric field. Using free-energy computations based on the Einstein molecule approach, we show that ice χ is an additional phase introduced to the state-of-the-art T–P phase diagram. The χ phase is the most stable structure in the high-pressure/low-temperature region, located between ice II and ice VI, and next to ice V exhibiting two triple points at 6.06 kbar/131.23 K and 9.45 kbar/144.24 K, respectively. A possible explanation for the missing ice phase in the T–P phase diagram is that ice χ is a rare polarized ferroelectric phase, whose nucleation/growth occurs only under very high electric fields.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)