Stockholms universitet

Katrin Amann-WinkelForskare

Om mig

My research interest involves fundamental studies on phase transitions, glass transition, liquid-liquid transition as well as crystallization. I focus on the investigation of the anomalous behavior of water and ice under extreme conditions, in particular amorphous ice phases, ultraviscous and supercooled liquid states of water.

Water is the most important liquid on Earth. By studying exotic states of water and ice we can learn a lot about „normal“ water, i.e. why is water most dense at 4°C or why is ice floating on water? These little facts everybody might know, but the microscopic explanation still puzzles scientists around the world.


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • Electron Beam-Induced Transformation in High-Density Amorphous Ices

    2020. Hongyi Xu (et al.). Journal of Physical Chemistry B 124 (41), 9283-9288


    Amorphous ice is commonly used as a noncrystalline matrix for protecting sensitive biological samples in cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM). The amorphization process of water is complex, and at least two amorphous states of different densities are known to exist, high- and low-density amorphous ices (HDA and LDA). These forms are considered to be the counterparts of two distinct liquid states, namely, high- and low-density liquid water. Herein, we investigate the HDA to LDA transition using electron diffraction and cryo-EM. The observed phase transition is induced by the impact of electrons, and we discuss two different mechanisms, namely, local heating and beam-induced motion of water molecules. The temperature increase is estimated by comparison with X-ray scattering experiments on identically prepared samples. Our results suggest that HDA, under the conditions used in our cryo-EM measurements, is locally heated above its glass-transition temperature.

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  • Anisotropic X-Ray Scattering of Transiently Oriented Water

    2020. Kyung Hwan Kim (et al.). Physical Review Letters 125 (7)


    We study the structural dynamics of liquid water by time-resolved anisotropic x-ray scattering under the optical Kerr effect condition. In this way, we can separate the anisotropic scattering decay of 160 fs from the delayed temperature increase of similar to 0.1 K occurring at 1 ps and quantify transient changes in the O-O pair distribution function. Polarizable molecular dynamics simulations reproduce well the experiment, indicating transient alignment of molecules along the electric field, which shortens the nearest-neighbor distances. In addition, analysis of the simulated water local structure provides evidence that two hypothesized fluctuating water configurations exhibit different polarizability.

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  • X-ray studies of the transformation from high- to low-density amorphous water

    2019. Daniel Mariedahl (et al.). Philosophical Transactions. Series A 377 (2146)


    Here we report about the structural evolution during the conversion from high-density amorphous ices at ambient pressure to the low-density state. Using high-energy X-ray diffraction, we have monitored the transformation by following in reciprocal space the structure factor SOO(Q) and derived in real space the pair distribution function gOO(r). Heating equilibrated high-density amorphous ice (eHDA) at a fast rate (4Kmin-1), the transition to the low-density form occurs very rapidly, while domains of both high-and low-density coexist. On the other hand, the transition in the case of unannealed HDA (uHDA) and very-high-density amorphous ice is more complex and of continuous nature. The direct comparison of eHDA and uHDA indicates that the molecular structure of uHDA contains a larger amount of tetrahedral motives. The different crystallization behaviour of the derived low-density amorphous states is interpreted as emanating from increased tetrahedral coordination present in uHDA. This article is part of the theme issue 'The physics and chemistry of ice: scaffolding across scales, from the viability of life to the formation of planets'.

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  • X-ray Scattering and O-O Pair-Distribution Functions of Amorphous Ices

    2018. Daniel Mariedahl (et al.). Journal of Physical Chemistry B 122 (30), 7616-7624


    The structure factor and oxygen-oxygen pair distribution functions of amorphous ices at liquid nitrogen temperature (T = 77 K) have been derived from wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) up to interatomic distances of r = 23 angstrom, where local structure differences between the amorphous ices can be seen for the entire range. The distances to the first coordination shell for low-, high-, and very-high-density amorphous ice (LDA, HDA, VHDA) were determined to be 2.75, 2.78, and 2.80 angstrom, respectively, with high accuracy due to measurements up to a large momentum transfer of 23 angstrom(-1). Similarities in pair-distribution functions between LDA and supercooled water at 254.1 K, HDA and liquid water at 365.9 K, and VHDA and high-pressure liquid water were found up to around 8 angstrom, but beyond that at longer distances, the similarities were lost. In addition, the structure of the high-density amorphous ices was compared to high-pressure crystalline ices IV, IX, and XII, and conclusions were drawn about the local ordering.

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  • Coherent X-rays reveal the influence of cage effects on ultrafast water dynamics

    2018. Fivos Perakis (et al.). Nature Communications 9


    The dynamics of liquid water feature a variety of time scales, ranging from extremely fast ballistic-like thermal motion, to slower molecular diffusion and hydrogen-bond rearrangements. Here, we utilize coherent X-ray pulses to investigate the sub-100 fs equilibrium dynamics of water from ambient conditions down to supercooled temperatures. This novel approach utilizes the inherent capability of X-ray speckle visibility spectroscopy to measure equilibrium intermolecular dynamics with lengthscale selectivity, by measuring oxygen motion in momentum space. The observed decay of the speckle contrast at the first diffraction peak, which reflects tetrahedral coordination, is attributed to motion on a molecular scale within the first 120 fs. Through comparison with molecular dynamics simulations, we conclude that the slowing down upon cooling from 328 K down to 253 K is not due to simple thermal ballistic-like motion, but that cage effects play an important role even on timescales over 25 fs due to hydrogen-bonding.

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  • Diffusive dynamics during the high-to-low density transition in amorphous ice

    2017. Fivos Perakis (et al.). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114 (31), 8193-8198


    Water exists in high- and low-density amorphous ice forms (HDA and LDA), which could correspond to the glassy states of high(HDL) and low-density liquid (LDL) in the metastable part of the phase diagram. However, the nature of both the glass transition and the high-to-low-density transition are debated and new experimental evidence is needed. Here we combine wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) with X-ray photon-correlation spectroscopy (XPCS) in the small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) geometry to probe both the structural and dynamical properties during the high-to-low-density transition in amorphous ice at 1 bar. By analyzing the structure factor and the radial distribution function, the coexistence of two structurally distinct domains is observed at T = 125 K. XPCS probes the dynamics in momentum space, which in the SAXS geometry reflects structural relaxation on the nanometer length scale. The dynamics of HDA are characterized by a slow component with a large time constant, arising from viscoelastic relaxation and stress release from nanometer-sized heterogeneities. Above 110 K a faster, strongly temperature-dependent component appears, with momentum transfer dependence pointing toward nanoscale diffusion. This dynamical component slows down after transition into the low-density form at 130 K, but remains diffusive. The diffusive character of both the high- and low-density forms is discussed among different interpretations and the results are most consistent with the hypothesis of a liquid-liquid transition in the ultraviscous regime.

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  • Maxima in the thermodynamic response and correlation functions of deeply supercooled water

    2017. Kyung Hwan Kim (et al.). Science 358 (6370), 1589-1593


    Femtosecond x-ray laser pulses were used to probe micrometer-sized water droplets that were cooled down to 227 kelvin in vacuum. Isothermal compressibility and correlation length were extracted from x-ray scattering at the low-momentum transfer region. The temperature dependence of these thermodynamic response and correlation functions shows maxima at 229 kelvin for water and 233 kelvin for heavy water. In addition, we observed that the liquids undergo the fastest growth of tetrahedral structures at similar temperatures. These observations point to the existence of a Widom line, defined as the locus of maximum correlation length emanating from a critical point at positive pressures in the deeply supercooled regime. The difference in the maximum value of the isothermal compressibility between the two isotopes shows the importance of nuclear quantum effects.

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  • Relaxation dynamics and transformation kinetics of deeply supercooled water

    2017. Sonja Lemke (et al.). Journal of Chemical Physics 147 (3)


    Above its glass transition, the equilibrated high-density amorphous ice (HDA) transforms to the low-density pendant (LDA). The temperature dependence of the transformation is monitored at ambient pressure using dielectric spectroscopy and at elevated pressures using dilatometry. It is found that near the glass transition temperature of deuterated samples, the transformation kinetics is 300 times slower than the structural relaxation, while for protonated samples, the time scale separation is at least 30 000 and insensitive to doping. The kinetics of the HDA to LDA transformation lacks a proton/deuteron isotope effect, revealing that this process is dominated by the restructuring of the oxygen network. The x-ray diffraction experiments performed on samples at intermediate transition stages reflect a linear combination of the LDA and HDA patterns implying a macroscopic phase separation, instead of a local intermixing of the two amorphous states.

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  • X-ray and Neutron Scattering of Water

    2016. Katrin Amann-Winkel (et al.). Chemical Reviews 116 (13), 7570-7589


    This review article focuses on the most recent advances in X-ray and neutron scattering studies of water structure, from ambient temperature to the deeply supercooled and amorphous states, and of water diffusive and collective dynamics, in disparate thermodynamic conditions and environments. In particular, the ability to measure X-ray and neutron diffraction of water with unprecedented high accuracy in an extended range of momentum transfers has allowed the derivation of detailed O-O pair correlation functions. A panorama of the diffusive dynamics of water in a wide range of temperatures (from 400 K down to supercooled water) and pressures (from ambient up to multiple gigapascals) is presented. The recent results obtained by quasi-elastic neutron scattering under high pressure are compared with the existing data from nuclear magnetic resonance, dielectric and infrared measurements, and modeling. A detailed description of the vibrational dynamics of water as measured by inelastic neutron scattering is presented. The dependence of the water vibrational density of states on temperature and pressure, and in the presence of biological molecules, is discussed. Results about the collective dynamics of water and its dispersion curves as measured by coherent inelastic neutron scattering and inelastic X-ray scattering in different thermodynamic conditions are reported.

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  • Water

    2016. Paola Gallo (et al.). Chemical Reviews 116 (13), 7463-7500


    Water is the most abundant liquid on earth and also the substance with the largest number of anomalies in its properties. It is a prerequisite for life and as such a most important subject of current research in chemical physics and physical chemistry. In spite of its simplicity as a liquid, it has an enormously rich phase diagram where different types of ices, amorphous phases, and anomalies disclose a path that points to unique thermodynamics of its supercooled liquid state that still hides many unraveled secrets. In this review we describe the behavior of water in the regime from ambient conditions to the deeply supercooled region. The review describes simulations and experiments on this anomalous liquid. Several scenarios have been proposed to explain the anomalous properties that become strongly enhanced in the supercooled region. Among those, the second critical-point scenario has been investigated extensively, and at present most experimental evidence point to this scenario. Starting from very low temperatures, a coexistence line between a high-density amorphous phase and a low-density amorphous phase would continue in a coexistence line between a high-density and a low-density liquid phase terminating in a liquid liquid critical point, LLCP. On approaching this LLCP from the one-phase region, a crossover in thermodynamics and dynamics can be found. This is discussed based on a picture of a temperature-dependent balance between a high-density liquid and a low-density liquid favored by, respectively, entropy and enthalpy, leading to a consistent picture of the thermodynamics of bulk water. Ice nucleation is also discussed, since this is what severely impedes experimental investigation of the vicinity of the proposed LLCP. Experimental investigation of stretched water, i.e., water at negative pressure, gives access to a different regime of the complex water diagram. Different ways to inhibit crystallization through confinement and aqueous solutions are discussed through results from experiments and simulations using the most sophisticated and advanced techniques. These findings represent tiles of a global picture that still needs to be completed. Some of the possible experimental lines of research that are essential to complete this picture are explored.

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  • Experimental observation of the liquid-liquid transition in bulk supercooled water under pressure

    2020. Kyung Hwan Kim (et al.). Science 370 (6519), 978-982


    We prepared bulk samples of supercooled liquid water under pressure by isochoric heating of high-density amorphous ice to temperatures of 205 ± 10 kelvin, using an infrared femtosecond laser. Because the sample density is preserved during the ultrafast heating, we could estimate an initial internal pressure of 2.5 to 3.5 kilobar in the high-density liquid phase. After heating, the sample expanded rapidly, and we captured the resulting decompression process with femtosecond x-ray laser pulses at different pump-probe delay times. A discontinuous structural change occurred in which low-density liquid domains appeared and grew on time scales between 20 nanoseconds to 3 microseconds, whereas crystallization occurs on time scales of 3 to 50 microseconds. The dynamics of the two processes being separated by more than one order of magnitude provides support for a liquid-liquid transition in bulk supercooled water.

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  • Enhancement and maximum in the isobaric specific-heat capacity measurements of deeply supercooled water using ultrafast calorimetry

    2021. Harshad Pathak (et al.). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 118 (6)


    Knowledge of the temperature dependence of the isobaric specific heat (Cp) upon deep supercooling can give insights regarding the anomalous properties of water. If a maximum in Cp exists at a specific temperature, as in the isothermal compressibility, it would further validate the liquid–liquid critical point model that can explain the anomalous increase in thermodynamic response functions. The challenge is that the relevant temperature range falls in the region where ice crystallization becomes rapid, which has previously excluded experiments. Here, we have utilized a methodology of ultrafast calorimetry by determining the temperature jump from femtosecond X-ray pulses after heating with an infrared laser pulse and with a sufficiently long time delay between the pulses to allow measurements at constant pressure. Evaporative cooling of ∼15-µm diameter droplets in vacuum enabled us to reach a temperature down to ∼228 K with a small fraction of the droplets remaining unfrozen. We observed a sharp increase in Cp, from 88 J/mol/K at 244 K to about 218 J/mol/K at 229 K where a maximum is seen. The Cp maximum is at a similar temperature as the maxima of the isothermal compressibility and correlation length. From the Cp measurement, we estimated the excess entropy and self-diffusion coefficient of water and these properties decrease rapidly below 235 K.

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  • Anomalous Behavior of the Homogeneous Ice Nucleation Rate in No-Man's Land

    2015. Hartawan Laksmono (et al.). Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 6 (14), 2826-2832


    We present an analysis of ice nucleation kinetics from near-ambient pressure water as temperature decreases below the homogeneous limit T-H by cooling micrometer-sized droplets (microdroplets) evaporatively at 10(3)-10(4) K/s and probing the structure ultrafast using femtosecond pulses from the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) free-electron X-ray laser. Below 232 K, we observed a slower nucleation rate increase with decreasing temperature than anticipated from previous measurements, which we suggest is due to the rapid decrease in water's diffusivity. This is consistent with earlier findings that microdroplets do not crystallize at <227 K, but vitrify at cooling rates of 10(6)-10(7) K/s. We also hypothesize that the slower increase in the nucleation rate is connected with the proposed fragile-to-strong transition anomaly in water.

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  • Temperature dependent anomalous fluctuations in water

    2019. Harshad Pathak (et al.). Molecular Physics 117 (22), 3232-3240


    Here we report on the temperature dependence of the anomalous behaviour of water in terms of (i) its growth in tetrahedral structures, (ii) instantaneous spatial correlations from small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) data, (iii) estimates of thermodynamic response functions of isothermal compressibility and (iv) thermal expansion coefficient. Water's thermal expansion coefficient is estimated for the first time at supercooled conditions from liquid water's structure factor. We used previously published data from classical force-fields of TIP4P/2005 and iAMOEBA to compare experimental data with molecular dynamics simulations and observe that these force-fields underestimate water's anomalous behaviour but perform better upon increasing pressure. We demonstrate that the molecular dynamics simulations can describe better the temperature dependent anomalous behaviour of ambient pressure water if simulated at 1 kbar. The deviation in anomalous fluctuations in the simulations is not restricted to approximate to 228 K but extends all the way to ambient temperatures.

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  • Structural differences between unannealed and expanded high-density amorphous ice based on isotope substitution neutron diffraction

    2019. Katrin Amann-Winkel, Daniel T. Bowron, Thomas Loerting. Molecular Physics 117 (22), 3207-3216


    We here report isotope substitution neutron diffraction experiments on two variants of high-density amorphous ice (HDA): its unannealed form prepared via pressure-induced amorphization of hexagonal ice at 77 K, and its expanded form prepared via decompression of very-high density amorphous ice at 140 K. The latter is about 17 K more stable thermally, so that it can be heated beyond its glass-to-liquid transition to the ultraviscous liquid form at ambient pressure. The structural origin for this large thermal difference and the possibility to reach the deeply supercooled liquid state has not yet been understood. Here we reveal that the origin for this difference is found in the intermediate range structure, beyond about 3.6 angstrom. The hydration shell markedly differs at about 6 angstrom. The local order, by contrast, including the first as well as the interstitial space between first and second shell is very similar for both. 'eHDA' that is decompressed to 0.20 GPa instead of 0.07 GPa is here revealed to be rather far away from well-relaxed eHDA. Instead it turns out to be roughly halfway between VHDA and eHDA - stressing the importance for decompressing VHDA to at least 0.10 GPa to make an eHDA sample of good quality.

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  • Apparent power-law behavior of water's isothermal compressibility and correlation length upon supercooling

    2019. Alexander Späh (et al.). Physical Chemistry, Chemical Physics - PCCP 21 (1), 26-31


    The isothermal compressibility and correlation length of supercooled water obtained from small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) were analyzed by fits based on an apparent power-law in the temperature range from 280 K down to the temperature of maximum compressibility at 229 K. Although the increase in thermodynamic response functions is not towards a critical point, it is still possible to obtain an apparent power law all the way to the maximum values with best-fit exponents of gamma = 0.40 +/- 0.01 for the isothermal compressibility and nu = 0.26 +/- 0.03 for the correlation length. The ratio between these exponents is close to a value of approximate to 0.5, as expected for a critical point, indicating the proximity of a potential second critical point. Comparison of gamma obtained from experiment with molecular dynamics simulations on the iAMOEBA water model shows that it would be located at pressures in the neighborhood of 1 kbar. The high value and sharpness of the compressibility maximum observed in the experiment are not reproduced by any of the existing classical water models, thus inviting further development of simulation models of water.

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