First-principles modeling of lattice defects: advancing our insight into the structure-properties relationship of ice
We discuss a number of examples that demonstrate the value of computational modeling as a complementary approach in the physics and chemistry of ice I h , where real-life experiments often do not give direct access to the desired information or whose interpretation typically requires uncontrollable assumptions. Specifically, we discuss two cases in which, guided by experimental insight, density-functional-theory-based first-principles methods are applied to study the properties of lattice defects and their relationship to ice I h s macroscopic behavior. First, we address a question involving molecular point defects, examining the energetics of formation of the molecular vacancy and a number of different molecular interstitial configurations. The results indicate that, as suggested by earlier experiments, a configuration involving bonding to the surrounding hydrogen-bond network is the preferred interstitial structure in ice I h . The second example involves the application of modeling to elucidate on the microscopic origin of the experimental observation that a specific type of ice defect is effectively immobile while others are not. Inspired by previous suggestions that this defect type may be held trapped at other defect sites and our finding that the bound configuration is the preferred interstitial configuration in ice I h , we use first-principles modeling to examine the binding energetics of the specific ice defect to the molecular vacancy and interstitial. The results suggest a preferential binding of the immobile defect to the molecular interstitial, possibly explaining its experimentally observed inactivity.
KeywordsIce Density-functional theory Point defects
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