The Water Dipole Moment in Water Clusters

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Science  07 Feb 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5301, pp. 814-817
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5301.814

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The average dipole moment of a water molecule in the condensed phase is enhanced by around 40 percent relative to that of an isolated monomer. This enhancement results from the large polarization caused by the electric field induced by surrounding monomers. A quantitative molecular description of this polarization is essential for modeling aqueous solvation phenomena. This combined theoretical and experimental study of dipole moments in small water clusters provides such a description and also gives insights into the structure of liquid water.

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