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Published February 2001 | Submitted
Journal Article Open

Crystal growth in the presence of surface melting: supersaturation dependence of the growth of columnar ice crystals


We report measurements of the growth rates of the basal (0 0 0 1) and prism (101̄0) facets of ice as a function of surface supersaturation, in a regime where the growth dynamics are dominated by the presence of surface melting. Our measurements were made using freely falling columnar ice crystals, growing a solvent gas of air at a pressure of one atmosphere, with ambient supersaturation levels 1<σ_∞<11%. Condensation coefficients for the two facets were inferred by modeling the effects of both particle and heat diffusion, which also yielded surface supersaturation levels 0.75<σ_(surf)<2.2%. Our results show a strong supersaturation dependence in the crystal growth, as for both facets the condensation coefficient exhibited a precipitous drop below σ_(surf)≈1%. In addition, the condensation coefficient for the basal facet was found to be nearly a factor of 10 larger than for the prism facet. These results support a model in which the ice growth rates are governed by 2D nucleation at the interface between the crystalline solid and a quasi-liquid surface layer.

Additional Information

© 2001 Elsevier. Received 1 May 2000, Accepted 8 November 2000, Available online 6 February 2001. Communicated by A.A. Chernov. H. Yu acknowledges financial support from the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program of the California Institute of Technology.

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