An all-time low: New supercooling lower bound

Supercooled liquids are exactly as they sound- liquids that stay liquids when cooled well below their freezing points. How? Remember phase diagrams? That’s right- under a low pressure system, with a rapid decrease in temperature, supercooled liquids can be achieved. And they have some cool effects, check this demonstration with a conventional Fiji water bottle placed in the fridge!:

Supercooled Water Demo

A new record for supercooling water has been achieved: -46 degrees C for roughly a millisecond. Considering the atomic forces that exist in the nanoscale, this stability is quite impressive, and the temperature even more so!

When would this ever be useful? If you noticed in the video above, the water froze under the slightest perturbation to the system. One can imagine this application in drug delivery mechanisms, as the supercooled liquid can quickly crystallize under perturbed conditions. It turns out that one group is able to sustain the supercooled structure for tens of hours, after which crystallization occurs. So increasing the temperature window of supercooled liquids is important for allowing thermal fluctuations.

Drug delivery with supercooled liquid


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