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J Chem Phys ; 139(24): 244703, 2013 Dec 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24387384


Liquid-like and liquid water at and near the surface of water-ice and frozen aqueous sodium chloride films were observed using attenuated total reflection infrared spectroscopy (ATR-IR). The concentration of NaCl ranged from 0.0001 to 0.01 M and the temperature varied from the melting point of water down to 256 K. The amount of liquid brine at the interface of the frozen films with the germanium ATR crystal increased with salt concentration and temperature. Experimental spectra are compared to reflection spectra calculated for a simplified morphology of a uniform liquid layer between the germanium crystal and the frozen film. This morphology allows for the amount of liquid observed in an experimental spectrum to be converted to the thickness of a homogenous layer with an equivalent amount of liquid. These equivalent thickness ranges from a nanometer for water-ice at 260 K to 170 nm for 0.01 M NaCl close to the melting point. The amounts of brine observed are over an order of magnitude less than the total liquid predicted by equilibrium thermodynamic models, implying that the vast majority of the liquid fraction of frozen solutions may be found in internal inclusions, grain boundaries, and the like. Thus, the amount of liquid and the solutes dissolved in them that are available to react with atmospheric gases on the surfaces of snow and ice are not well described by thermodynamic equilibrium models which assume the liquid phase is located entirely at the surface.