Water ice nanoparticles: size and temperature effects on the mid-infrared spectrum Academic Article uri icon


  • Mid-infrared spectra have been measured for cubic ice (I(c)) nanoparticles (3-150 nm diameter) formed by rapid collisional cooling over a wide range of temperatures (5-209 K). Spectral diagnostics, such as the ratio of surface related dangling OH to interior H-bonded OH stretch bands, reveal the manner in which particle size depends on bath gas temperature and density, and on water molecule concentration. For particles smaller than 5 nm strained intermolecular bonds on the surface and subsurface cause the predominant OH stretch peak position to be dramatically blue shifted by up to 40 cm(-1). In the size regime of 8-200 nm the position of the OH stretch absorption band maximum is relatively unaffected by particle size and it is possible to measure the temperature dependence of the peak location without influences from the surface or scattering. The band maximum shifts in a linear fashion from 3218 cm(-1) at 30 K to 3253 cm(-1) at 209 K, which may assist with temperature profiling of ice particles in atmospheric clouds and extraterrestrial systems. Over the same temperature range the librational mode band shifts very little, from 870 to 860 cm(-1). In the water stretching and bending regions discrete spectral features associated with the surface or sub-surface layers have been detected in particles as large as 80 nm.


  • Medcraft, Chris
  • McNaughton, Don
  • Thompson, Chris D
  • Appadoo, Dominique RT
  • Bauerecker, Sigurd
  • Robertson, Evan G

publication date

  • 2013