In this paper, we present the results of deep inelastic neutron scattering (DINS) measurements on supercooled water confined within the pores (average pore diameter ~ 20 Ã) of a disordered hydrophilic silica matrix obtained through hydrolysis and polycondensation of the alkoxide precursor Tetra-Methyl-Ortho-Silicate via the sol-gel method. Experiments were performed at two temperatures (250 K and 210 K, i.e., before and after the putative liquidâliquid transition of supercooled confined water) on a âwetâ sample with hydration h ~ 40% w/w, which is high enough to have water-filled pores but low enough to avoid water crystallization. A virtually âdryâ sample at h ~ 7% was also investigated to measure the contribution of the silica matrix to the neutron scattering signal. As is well known, DINS measurements allow the determination of the mean kinetic energy and the momentum distribution of the hydrogen atoms in the system and therefore, allow researchers to probe the local structure of supercooled confined water. The main result obtained is that at 210 K the hydrogen mean kinetic energy is equal or even slightly higher than at 250 K. This is at odds with the predictions of a semiempirical harmonic model recently proposed to describe the temperature dependence of the kinetic energy of hydrogen in water. This is a new and very interesting result, which suggests that at 210 K, the water hydrogens experience a stiffer intermolecular potential than at 250 K. This is in agreement with the liquidâliquid transition hypothesis.
|Numero di pagine||6|
|Rivista||Frontiers of Physics|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2018|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes