Solid or liquid? Solidification of a nanoconfined liquid under nonequilibrium conditions

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Patil S., MATEİ G., Oral A., Hoffmann P. M.

LANGMUIR, vol.22, no.15, pp.6485-6488, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 15
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.1021/la060504w
  • Journal Name: LANGMUIR
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.6485-6488
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


There has been a long-standing debate about the physical state and possible phase transformations of confined liquids. In this report, we show that a model-confined liquid can behave both as a Newtonian liquid with very little change in its dynamics and as a pseudosolid, depending solely on the rate of approach of the confining surfaces. Thus, the confined liquid does not exhibit any confinement-induced solidification in thermodynamic equilibrium. Instead, solidification is induced kinetically when the two confining surfaces are approached with a minimum critical rate. This critical rate is surprisingly slow (on the order of 6 angstrom/s), explaining the frequent observation of confinement-induced solidification.