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Ice premelting during differential scanning calorimetry
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-18, 09:16 authored by Peter Wilson, Arthur, JW, Haymet, AD
Premelting at the surface of ice crystals is caused by factors such as temperature, radius of curvature, and solute composition. When polycrystalline ice samples are warmed from well below the equilibrium melting point, surface melting may begin at temperatures as low as -15 degrees C. However, it has been reported (Bronshteyn and Steponkus, 1993. Biophys. J. 65:1853-1865) that when polycrystalline ice was warmed in a differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) pan, melting began at about -50 degrees C, this extreme behavior being attributed to short-range forces. We show that there is no driving force for such premelting, and that for pure water samples in DSC pans curvature effects will cause premelting typically at just a few degrees below the equilibrium melting point. We also show that the rate of warming affects the slope of the DSC baseline and that this might be incorrectly interpreted as an endotherm. The work has consequences for DSC operators who use water as a standard in systems where subfreezing runs are important.
Publication titleBiophysical Journal
Department/SchoolCollege Office - College of Health and Medicine
Place of publication9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, USA, Md, 20814-3998