Press Releases
Oct. 16, 2009

Infrared absorption spectra of ferroelectric ice and the possible contributions to the space exploration

  • Masashi Arakawa (PhD student, Geochemical Laboratory, University of Tokyo)
  • Hiroyuki Kagi (Associate professor, Geochemical Laboratory, University of Tokyo)
  • Hiroshi Fukazawa (Senior Researcher, Neutron Materials Research Center, Japan Atomic Energy Agency)
Figure 1

Fig. Crystal structures of ice Ih and ice XI.

Masashi Arakawa and Prof. Hiroyuki Kagi in Geochemical Laboratory, Graduate School of Science have first measured infrared absorption spectra of ferroelectric ice (ice XI [eleven]) by collaborating with Dr. Hiroshi Fukazawa in Japan Atomic Energy Agency.

They discovered that a specific absorption peak of ferroelectric ice is remarkably narrower than that of the normal ice (ice Ih). The obtained results revealed that ferroelectric ice can be clearly distinguished from the normal ice using infrared spectroscopy. This study has opened an avenue for detecting ferroelectric ice in space using infrared telescopes and planetary exploration.

Paper information

Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 184, 361-365 (2009)
"Laboratory measurements of infrared absorption spectra of hydrogen-ordered ice: a step to the exploration of ice XI in space"
Masashi Arakawa, Hiroyuki Kagi and Hiroshi Fukazawa