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Report No.

Nucleation and growth of ice XI; Study suggests the existence of ferroelectric ice in the Universe

Fukazawa, Hiroshi; Hoshikawa, Akinori*; Chakoumakos, B.*; Fernandez-Baca, J. A.*

From neutron powder-diffraction experiments, we have studied the growth process of ferroelectric ice XI with deuteron-ordered arrangements. We measured time-resolved neutron diffraction of compressed KOD or NaOD doped D$$_{2}$$O-ice. We observed the growth of ice XI at 58 $$sim$$ 74 K. The mass fraction f (the ratio of mass of ice XI to that of the doped ice) linearly increased with time for about 5 days. The de-transformed ice Ih, obtained after warming above the transition temperature of 76 K, retransformed to ice XI at 60 $$sim$$ 66 K. The observed increase of f with time is in good agreement with the nucleation process of the ordering and the constant growth of the ordered domain. The results suggest that large quantities of ice on cold icy bodies (such as Pluto and Charon) in our solar system are able to transform to ice XI, which may be detectable by space telescope and planetary exploration.



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