I have noticed that when I microwave an ice cube it appears to melt more slowly than I would expect. For example, an equal volume of water starting at 0 deg C would probably be at boiling point before an ice cube that was at -15 deg C had melted. I realize there is enthalpy of fusion to take into account in the melting process but I believe there is more to it than that.
As I understand it a microwave oven works by exciting the water molecules in whatever is being cooked and if memory serves the frequency used is one that causes rotation of the molecule. Since the ice cube is solid I'm assuming the molecules aren't free to rotate and therefore the microwaves have a much reduced effect. In fact I'm wondering if a perfect single crystal of water would respond at all to being microwaved. Does this sound right?
I've been trying to rack my brain for a way of testing this theory but I can't think of a way of getting an perfectly dry ice cube into a microwave to see if anything happens. Even a tiny amount of surface water, caused from interaction with a warm atmosphere, would encourage melting.