‘Hot’ Ice Could Lead To Medical Device
‘Harvard physicists have shown that specially treated diamond coatings can keep water frozen at body temperature, a finding that may have applications in future medical implants.
Doctoral student Alexander Wissner-Gross and Efthimios Kaxiras, physics professor and Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics, spent a year building and examining computer models that showed that a layer of diamond coated with sodium atoms will keep water frozen up to 108 degrees Fahrenheit.
In ice, water molecules are arranged in a rigid framework that gives the substance its hardness. The process of melting is somewhat like a building falling down: pieces that had been arranged into a rigid structure move and flow against one another, becoming liquid water.
The computer model shows that whenever a water molecule near the diamond-sodium surface starts to fall out of place, the surface stabilizes it and reassembles the crystalline ice structure.’