The pyroelectricity of AgI crystals strongly affects the icing temperature of super-cooled water, as disentangled from that of epitaxy. This deduction was achieved by the design of polar crystalline ceramic pellets of AgI, with experimentally determined sense of polarity. These pellets are suitable for measuring both their pyroelectric properties as well as the icing temperature of super-cooled water, separately on each of the expressed Ag+ and I− hemihedral surfaces. The positive pyroelectric charge at the silver-enriched side elevates the icing temperature, whereas the negative charge at the iodide side decreases that temperature. Moreover, the effect of pyroelectric charge remains dominant despite the presence of contaminants on both the silver and the iodide-enriched surfaces. Consequently an electrochemical process for ice nucleation is suggested, which might be of relevance for understanding the role played by electric charges in heterogeneous icing processes in general.
- ice nucleation and cloud seeding
- silver iodide
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