An international team of researchers from the University of Saskatchewan (USask) and University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland, have observed “proton-hopping” movement in a high-pressure form of ice called Ice VII.
The discovery will help researchers understand the behaviour of water in high-pressure environments beyond Earth, and could lead to the detection of exotic forms of ice in the universe.
The proton-hopping movement may be present in ice on planetary bodies such as Venus, Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus, or in planets outside our solar system.
Dr. John Tse (PhD), a faculty member and Centennial Enhancement Chair in the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics at USask’s College of Arts and Science, is coauthor of a paper on the discovery published in Science Advances.
“…This study is able to provide a clear and consistent explanation to a previously puzzling problem—the ‘how and why’ of making ice superionic,” said Tse in a news release from UCD.