Main content area

Structure from Dynamics: Vibrational Dynamics of Interfacial Water as a Probe of Aqueous Heterogeneity

Cyran, Jenée D., Backus, Ellen H. G., Nagata, Yuki, Bonn, Mischa
The Journal of physical chemistry 2018 v.122 no.14 pp. 3667-3679
biochemical compounds, hydrogen bonding, photocatalysis, protein folding, spectroscopy, vapors, vibration
The structural heterogeneity of water at various interfaces can be revealed by time-resolved sum-frequency generation spectroscopy. The vibrational dynamics of the O–H stretch vibration of interfacial water can reflect structural variations. Specifically, the vibrational lifetime is typically found to increase with increasing frequency of the O–H stretch vibration, which can report on the hydrogen-bonding heterogeneity of water. We compare and contrast vibrational dynamics of water in contact with various surfaces, including vapor, biomolecules, and solid interfaces. The results reveal that variations in the vibrational lifetime with vibrational frequency are very typical, and can frequently be accounted for by the bulk-like heterogeneous response of interfacial water. Specific interfaces exist, however, for which the behavior is less straightforward. These insights into the heterogeneity of interfacial water thus obtained contribute to a better understanding of complex phenomena taking place at aqueous interfaces, such as photocatalytic reactions and protein folding.