A Fresh Look at Electron Hydration

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Science  22 Oct 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5696, pp. 618-619
DOI: 10.1126/science.1104678

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Hydrated electrons form when excess electrons are injected into water. In his Perspective, Jordan discusses the properties of these unusual species. He highlights the reports of Paik et al., Bragg et al., and Hammer et al., who use negatively charged water clusters containing 4 to 50 water molecules to elucidate the arrangement of water molecules in the vicinity of a hydrated electron and to study its dynamics. Such cluster studies provide a much higher level of detail than most studies of bulk water and serve as important benchmarks for theoretical studies. Whether they can be extrapolated to bulk water depends, however, on whether the electron resides on the surface or in the interior of the clusters.