Heterogeneous seeded molecular dynamics as a tool to probe the ice nucleating ability of crystalline surfaces

Extending the scope of a quite successful enhanced sampling(-ish…) technique to heterogeneous ice nucleation

When it comes to enhanced sampling simulations of rare event, one usually choose something along the lines of either free energy or path sampling techniques. Unfortunately, these are computationally costly. Seeded molecular dynamics is a much less demanding alternative that has been successfully applied already to study the homogeneous freezing of water. However, in the case of heterogeneous ice nucleation, nature‚Äôs favourite route to form ice, an array of suitable interfaces between the ice seeds and the substrate of interest has to be built, and this is no trivial task. In this paper, we present a Heterogeneous SEEDing (HSEED) approach which harnesses a random structure search framework to tackle the ice-substrate challenge, thus enabling seeded molecular dynamics simulations of heterogeneous ice nucleation on crystalline surfaces. Here’s the online version, but you are welcome to just grab a .pdf as well.