Phase equilibrium of liquid water and hexagonal ice from enhanced sampling molecular dynamics simulations

Pablo M. Piaggi and Roberto Car
J. Chem. Phys. 152, 204116 (2020)

We study the phase equilibrium between liquid water and ice Ih modeled by the TIP4P/Ice interatomic potential using enhanced sampling molecular dynamics simulations. Our approach is based on the calculation of ice Ih-liquid free energy differences from simulations that visit reversibly both phases. The reversible interconversion is achieved by introducing a static bias potential as a function of an order parameter. The order parameter was tailored to crystallize the hexagonal diamond structure of oxygen in ice Ih. We analyze the effect of the system size on the ice Ih-liquid free energy differences, and we obtain a melting temperature of 270 K in the thermodynamic limit. This result is in agreement with estimates from thermodynamic integration (272 K) and coexistence simulations (270 K). Since the order parameter does not include information about the coordinates of the protons, the spontaneously formed solid configurations contain proton disorder as expected for ice Ih.