The existence of more than one solid amorphous state of water is an extraordinary feature. Since polyamorphism might be connected to the liquid-liquid critical point hypothesis, it is particularly important to study the relations amongst the different amorphous ices. Here we study the polyamorphic transformations of several high pressure amorphous ices to low-density amorphous ice (LDA) at 4 MPa by isobaric heating utilising in situ volumetry and ex situ X-ray diffraction. We find that very-high density amorphous ice (VHDA) and unannealed high density amorphous ice (HDA) show significant relaxation before transforming to LDA, whereby VHDA is seen to relax toward HDA. By contrast, expanded HDA shows almost no relaxation prior to the transformation. The transition to LDA itself obeys criteria for a first-order-like transition in all cases. In the case of VHDA, even macroscopic phase separation is observed. These findings suggest that HDA and LDA are two clearly distinct polyamorphs. We further present evidence that HDA reaches the metastable equilibrium at 140 K and 0.1 GPa but only comes close to that at 140 K and 0.2 GPa. The most important is the path independence of the amorphous phase reached at 140 K and 0.1 GPa.
Handle, P. H., & Loerting, T. (2018). Experimental study of the polyamorphism of water. I. the isobaric transitions from amorphous ices to LDA at 4 MPa. Journal of Chemical Physics, 148(12). https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5019413