Journal Article In situ Determination of Surface Tension-to-Shear Viscosity Ratio for Quasiliquid Layers on Ice Crystal Surfaces

Murata, Ken-ichiro  ,  Asakawa, Harutoshi  ,  Nagashima, Ken  ,  Furukawa, Yoshinori  ,  Sazaki, Gen

115pp.256103-1 - 256103-5 , 2015-12-18 , American Physical Society (APS)
We have experimentally determined the surface tension-to-shear viscosity ratio (the so-called characteristic velocity) of quasiliquid layers (QLLs) on ice crystal surfaces from their wetting dynamics. Using an advanced optical microscope, whose resolution reaches the molecular level in the height direction, we directly observed the coalescent process of QLLs and followed the relaxation modes of their contact lines. The relaxation dynamics is known to be governed by the characteristic velocity, which allows us to access the physical properties of QLLs in a noninvasive way. Here we quantitatively demonstrate that QLLs, when completely wetting ices, have a thickness of 9 +/- 3 nm and an approximately 200 times lower characteristic velocity than bulk water, whereas QLLs, when partially wetting ices, have a velocity that is 20 times lower than the bulk. This indicates that ice crystal surfaces significantly affect the physical properties of QLLs localized near the surfaces at a nanometer scale.

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