Scientific researchers have created a new form of ice by pressing water between two sheets of graphene. Just a few molecules thick, the “square ice” atoms are formed in a square grid pattern.
This new study proving the existence of square ice brings another property of graphene, which consists of flat, atom-thick sheets of carbon, front and center. We already knew that graphene sheets were very stiff, strong and conductive, but they also put intense pressure on molecules trapped between them. The researchers point out that the formation of square ice explains why water (and nothing else) seeps through stacks of graphene rapidly, a characteristic that makes the material a likely candidate for desalination membranes to purify water as well as other filtering applications.