We demonstrate that the crystallization of thin, supported amorphous solid water layers is initiated at the water surface. This is concluded from the observation of sequential crystallization of amorphous water at the surface, in the bulk, and at the water-support interface. A surface nucleation model quantitatively reproduces the observed transformation kinetics at the three sites.

Phys. Rev. Lett.

Backus, E., Grecea, M. L., Kleyn, A. W., & Bonn, M. (2004). Surface crystallization of amorphous solid water. Phys.Rev.Lett., 92(Article number: 236101), 1–4. doi:10.1103/physrevlett.92.236101