Observation of the density minimum in deeply supercooled confined water

Dazhi Liu, Yang Zhang, Chia G. Chen, Chung Yuan Mou, Peter H. Poole, Sow Hsin Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Citations (Scopus)


Small angle neutron scattering (SANS) is used to measure the density of heavy water contained in 1D cylindrical pores of mesoporous silica material MCM-41-S-15, with pores of diameter of 15 ± 1 Å. In these pores the homogenous nucleation process of bulk water at 235 K does not occur, and the liquid can be supercooled down to at least 160 K. The analysis of SANS data allows us to determine the absolute value of the density of D2O as a function of temperature. We observe a density minimum at 210 ± 5 K with a value of 1.041 ± 0.003 g/cm3. We show that the results are consistent with the predictions of molecular dynamics simulations of supercooled bulk water. Here we present an experimental report of the existence of the density minimum in supercooled water, which has not been described previously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9570-9574
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Jun 5 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Liquid-liquid critical point
  • Nanopores
  • Small angle neutron scattering
  • Widom line

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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