Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (GRADS)

Document Type



Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Publication Date

Spring 2014


Vapor-to-liquid and liquid-to-solid transitions on mineral surfaces are the primary pathways for phase transitions in atmospheric water. These phase transitions affect the microphysics of clouds and have significant effects on the weather and climate. Our overall goal is to elucidate the mechanisms through which surfaces affect these transitions, and develop predictive abilities to correlate surface properties to the thermodynamics and kinetics of the phase transitions. In this work, we use molecular dynamics simulations to study the structure, and dynamics of water near kaolinite-like surfaces. Kaolinite is the most abundant mineral dust in the atmosphere. We specifically investigate the effect of lattice spacing on water structure in water films of varying thicknesses. Our results will help us ascertain the properties important to promote ice nucleation. The insights gained also have implications in designing materials that can prevent ice nucleation in applications such as power-lines, car windshields, and computer chips.