In a nice bit of news for a Friday afternoon, Yujin’s paper “Hydrophobic Water Probed Experimentally at the Gold Electrode/Aqueous Interface” has just been published in Angewandte Chemie. If you’re passionate about water at metal interfaces (and you should be!!!) here’s the abstract:
Quantitative description of reaction mechanisms in aqueous phase electrochemistry requires experimental characterization of local water structure at the electrode/aqueous interface and its evolution with changing potential. Gaining such insight experimentally under electrochemical conditions is a formidable task. The potential-dependent structure of a subpopulation of interfacial water with one OH group pointing towards a gold working electrode is characterized using interface specific vibrational spectroscopy in a thin film electrochemical cell. Such free-OH groups are the molecular level observable of an extended hydrophobic interface. This free-OH interacts only weakly with the Au surface at all potentials, has an orientational distribution that narrows approaching the potential of zero charge, and disappears on oxidation of the gold electrode.