Ultrafast Electron Crystallography of Interfacial Water

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Science  02 Apr 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5667, pp. 80-84
DOI: 10.1126/science.1094818

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We report direct determination of the structures and dynamics of interfacial water on a hydrophilic surface with atomic-scale resolution using ultrafast electron crystallography. On the nanometer scale, we observed the coexistence of ordered surface water and crystallite-like ice structures, evident in the superposition of Bragg spots and Debye-Scherrer rings. The structures were determined to be dominantly cubic, but each undergoes different dynamics after the ultrafast substrate temperature jump. From changes in local bond distances (OH··O and O···O) with time, we elucidated the structural changes in the far-from-equilibrium regime at short times and near-equilibration at long times.

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