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Issue 2, 2017
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The opposite effects of sodium and potassium cations on water dynamics

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Abstract

Water rotational dynamics in NaSCN and KSCN solutions at a series of concentrations are investigated using femtosecond infrared spectroscopy and theory. Femtosecond infrared measurements, consistent with previous NMR observations, detect that sodium slows down while potassium accelerates the water O–H bond rotation. Results of reported neutron scattering measurements, on the other hand, suggested that these two cations have similar structure-breaking effects on water, and therefore should both accelerate water rotation through the presumably dominating large-amplitude angular jump component. To explain this discrepancy, theoretical studies with both classical and ab initio models were carried out, which indicate that both ions indeed accelerate the large-amplitude angular jump rotation of the water molecules, while the observed cation specific effect originates from the non-negligible opposite impact of the sodium and potassium cations on the diffusive rotation of water molecules.

Graphical abstract: The opposite effects of sodium and potassium cations on water dynamics

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Jul 2016, accepted on 13 Oct 2016 and first published on 14 Oct 2016


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C6SC03320B
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2017,8, 1429-1435
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    The opposite effects of sodium and potassium cations on water dynamics

    Q. Zhang, H. Chen, T. Wu, T. Jin, Z. Pan, J. Zheng, Y. Gao and W. Zhuang, Chem. Sci., 2017, 8, 1429
    DOI: 10.1039/C6SC03320B

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