Chemical Science

Just published


It took some six years for this paper to eventually see the light of day – but it was worth it.
Titled: “The role of structural order in heterogeneous ice nucleation” and published in Chemical Science, this work is a testament to a massive collaborative effort that involved myself (when I was working Angelos Michaelides at UCL, now Cambridge) and a stellar team at the Max Plank in Mainz (Ellen Backus is now in Wien), in addition to our very own Tom Whale (in Leeds at the time).
In a nutshell, with this paper we tried to look at the same thing, cholesterol, in different forms, from crystals to more-or-less disordered monolayers, and get an idea of how well these different forms nucleate ice. This is important for a number of reasons: a fundamental one is that it is usually very hard to isolate the effect of structural disorder on ice nucleation. A more practical one is that cholesterol is part of our own cell membranes – hence it is quite key to investigate what does it do to water and ice. Yet another piece of the puzzle, we think, but this is a long road. Have a look at the paper online or grab a pdf here.