The effect of confinement on the solid-liquid phase transitions of water was studied by using DSC and FT-IR measurements. Enthalpy changes upon melting of frozen water in MCM-41 and SBA-15 were determined as a function of pore size and found to decrease with decreasing pore size. The melting point also decreased almost monotonically with a decrease in pore size. Analysis of the Gibbs-Thomson relation on the basis of the thermodynamic data showed that there were two stages of interfacial free energy change after the constant region, i.e., below a pore size of 6.0 nm: a gradual decrease down to 3.4 nm and another decrease after a small jump upward. This fact demonstrates that the simple Gibbs-Thomson relation, i.e., a linear relation between the melting point change and the inverse pore size, is limited to the range not far from the melting point of bulk water. FT-IR measurements suggest that the decrease in enthalpy change and interfacial free energy change with decreasing pore size reflect the similarity of the structures of both liquid and solid phases of water in smaller pores at lower temperatures.
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