The hypothesis that the anomalous behavior of liquid water is related to the existence of a second critical point in deeply supercooled states has long been the subject of intense debate. Recent, sophisticated experiments designed to observe the transformation between the two subcritical liquids on nano- and microsecond time scales, along with demanding numerical simulations based on classical (rigid) models parameterized to reproduce thermodynamic properties of water, have provided support to this hypothesis. A stronger numerical proof requires demonstrating that the critical point, which occurs at temperatures and pressures far from those at which the models were optimized, is robust with respect to model parameterization, specifically with respect to incorporating additional physical effects. Here, we show that a liquid-liquid critical point can be rigorously located also in the WAIL model of water [Pinnick et al., J. Chem. Phys. 137, 014510 (2012)], a model parameterized using ab initio calculations only. The model incorporates two features not present in many previously studied water models: It is both flexible and polarizable, properties which can significantly influence the phase behavior of water. The observation of the critical point in a model in which the water-water interaction is estimated using only quantum ab initio calculations provides strong support to the viewpoint according to which the existence of two distinct liquids is a robust feature in the free energy landscape of supercooled water.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry