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It has been conjectured that roughness plays a role in surface nucleation, the tendency for freezing to begin preferentially at the liquid-gas interface. Using high speed imaging, we sought evidence for freezing at the contact line on catalyst substrates with imposed characteristic length scales (texture). Length scales consistent with the critical nucleus size and with δ∼τ/σ, where τ is a relevant line tension and σ is the surface tension, range from nanometers to micrometers. It is found that nanoscale texture causes a shift in the nucleation of ice in supercooled water to the three-phase contact line, while microscale texture does not.

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© 2014 American Physical Society. Article deposited here in compliance with publisher policies. Publisher's version of record:

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Physical Review Letters


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Physics Commons



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