Scientists have developed a method to prevent water from freezing, even at very low temperatures
Can water reach minus 263 degrees Celsius without turning into ice? This was demonstrated by researchers from the Federal Polytechnic University of Zurich and the University of Zurich, who developed a new way to prevent the formation of ice crystals in water.
How to make ice cubes knows every child. Simply pour into a containerointo water and put it in the freezer. Wkrotce water crystallizes and turns into lod. But if one were to analyze the crystal structureoIn the ice, it can be observed that water molecules are arranged in regular trojdimensional structures. In water, on the other hand, the molecules are disorganized, making water liquid.
Led by ProfessoroIn Raffaele Mezzenga and Ehud Landau’s group of physicistsow and chemistoin from the Federal Polytechnic University and the University of Zurich has identified a way toob preventing crystal formationoin ice in water. The results of the scientists’ researchow appeared in the pages of „Nature Nanotechnology”.
Scientists know of about 20 roThe molecular varieties of ice. Someore are so rare that they may only exist in computer simulations or on distant planets. This is because water can freeze into a solid for many roof lipids in a wayow. But its crystallization is not inevitable. Last year, Swedish scientists managed to descend water to minus 45 degrees Celsius without ice forming. However, their Swiss colleagues went much further. In a new experiment, Zurich scientists were able to create water thatora did not turn into lod even at minus 263 degrees Celsius.
Researchers have designed and synthesized a new class of lipidsow (fat molecules), ktore create soft biological material. They referred to it as lipid mesophase. In this material, lipids spontaneously accumulate to form membranes, whichore behave in a similar wayob as natural fat particles. These membranes adopt a uniform arrangement, forming a network of interconnected channelsow with a diameter of less than one nanometer.
A feature of the particularolnherent in this structure is that there is no room in the narrow channels for water to form ice crystals, so it remains disordered even at extremely low temperatures. Lipids also do not freeze.
Cooling water to such extreme temperatures without ice formation was possible thanks to a new class of lipidow. Their molecules have zarowno hydrophobic parts – repulsive to water, as well as hydrophilic – attracting water. The soft biomaterial formed from lipid membranes and water has a complex structure thatora minimizes water contact with hydrophobic parts and maximizes with hydrophilic parts. – They enable the necessary curvature to produce such small water channels and prevent lipid crystallizationow – explained Ehud Landau of the University of Zurich.
Scientists have modeled a new class of lipidoIn the membranes of someorych bacteria. The bacteria produce a special class of self-organized lipidsow, allowing microorganisms to survive in very cold environments.
The technique developed can serve primarily as a tool for other researchers of the. It can be used to preserve a protein-based substance without damaging it, keeping it in its original form at very low temperatures.
– Our głow the primary goal was to provide scientists with a new tool to make it easier to study molecular structures at low temperatures without a crystaloin the ice, and ultimately understanding how two głoThe essential components of life, water and lipids, interact under extreme conditions – said Raffaele Mezzenga of the Federal Polytechnic University of Zurich.