Anisotropy in the crystal growth of hexagonal ice, I[sub h]
Growth of ice crystals has attracted attention because ice and water are ubiquitous in the environment and play critical roles in natural processes. Hexagonal ice, Ih, is the most common form of ice among 15 known crystalline phases of ice. In this work we report the results of an extensive and systematic molecular dynamics study of the temperature dependence of the crystal growth on the three primary crystal faces of hexagonal ice, the basal 0001 face, the prism 100 face, and the secondary prism 110 face, utilizing the TIP4P-2005 water model. New insights into the nature of its anisotropic growth are uncovered. It is demonstrated that the ice growth is indeed anisotropic; the growth and melting of the basal face are the slowest of the three faces, its maximum growth rates being 31% and 43% slower, respectively, than those of the prism and the secondary prism faces. It is also shown that application of periodic boundary conditions can lead to varying size effect for different orientations of an ice crystal caused by the anisotropic physical properties of the crystal, and results in measurably different thermodynamic melting temperatures in three systems of similar, yet moderate, size. Evidence obtained here provides the grounds on which to clarify the current understanding of ice growth on the secondary prism face of ice. We also revisit the effect of the integration time step on the crystal growth of ice in a more thorough and systematic way. Careful evaluation demonstrates that increasing the integration time step size measurably affects the free energy of the bulk phases and shifts the temperature dependence of the growth rate curve to lower temperatures by approximately 1 K when the step is changed from 1 fs to 2 fs, and by 3 K when 3 fs steps are used. A thorough investigation of the numerical aspects of the simulations exposes important consequences of the simulation parameter choices upon the delicate dynamic balance that is involved in ice crystal growth.