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We report on the direct measurement of the dynamics of water molecules in the solvation shell of an ion in aqueous solution. The hydrogen-bond dynamics of water molecules solvating a Cl−, Br−, or I− anion is slow compared with neat liquid water, indicating that the aqueous solvation shells of these ions are rigid. This rigidity can play an important role in the overall dynamics of chemical reactions in aqueous solution. The experiments were performed with femtosecond midinfrared nonlinear spectroscopy, because this technique allows the spectral response of the water molecules in the solvation shell to be distinguished clearly from that of the other water molecules in the solution.
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