Water (H2O) has a simple composition, but its dizzyingly interconnected hydrogen-bonded networks make structural characterizations challenging. In particular, the organization of water surfaces—a region critical to processes in cell biology and atmospheric chemistry—has caused profound disagreements among scientists.
Figure 1: A ‘snapshot’ from a molecular dynamic simulation reveals that water molecules align at air–water interfaces as coordinated pairs linked by hydrogen bonds. Copyright : 2012 RIKEN
Now, Tahei Tahara and colleagues from the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute in Wako, in collaboration with researchers in Japan and Europe, have uncovered the presence of strongly bonded water pairs at the air–water interface1, rather than previously hypothesized ‘ice-like’ surface structures.
Observing surface water molecules, just a few monolayers thick, requires special experimental techniques that prevent interference by more plentiful bulk particles. One such approach is called vibrational sum frequency generation (VSFG), a laser-based method that selectively vibrates interfacial molecules. Previous VSFG measurements of surface water showed two vibrations that resemble signals recorded from bulk ice and liquid water states. Some scientists have proposed that these vibrations correspond to a partially disordered mix of liquid and four-coordinated ice-like surface structures—a theory at odds with thermodynamic evidence.
Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie
Study overturns seminal research about the developing nervous system
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The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
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21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy