Structural and dynamic characteristics in monolayer square ice

YB Zhu and FC Wang and HA Wu, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 147, 044706 (2017).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4995432

When water is constrained between two sheets of graphene, it becomes an intriguing monolayer solid with a square pattern due to the ultrahigh van der Waals pressure. However, the square ice phase has become a matter of debate due to the insufficient experimental interpretation and the slightly rhomboidal feature in simulated monolayer square-like structures. Here, we performed classical molecular dynamics simulations to reveal monolayer square ice in graphene nanocapillaries from the perspective of structure and dynamic characteristics. Monolayer square- like ice (instantaneous snapshot), assembled square-rhombic units with stacking faults, is a long-range ordered structure, in which the square and rhombic units are assembled in an order of alternative distribution, and the other rhombic unit forms stacking faults (polarized water chains). Spontaneous flipping of water molecules in monolayer square- like ice is intrinsic and induces transformations among different elementary units, resulting in the structural evolution of monolayer square ice in dynamics. The existence of stacking faults should be attributed to the spontaneous flipping behavior of water molecules under ambient temperature. Statistical averaging results (thermal average positions) demonstrate the inherent square characteristic of monolayer square ice. The simulated data and insight obtained here might be significant for understanding the topological structure and dynamic behavior of monolayer square ice. Published by AIP Publishing.

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