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Issue 37, 2019
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Structure of the aqueous electron

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Recently there has been a revival of interest in the basic structure of the aqueous or “hydrated” electron, e(aq). According to the conventional picture, this species occupies a cavity or excluded volume in the structure of liquid water, with a characteristic absorption spectrum ascribable to s → p excitations of a particle in a quasi-spherical box. This traditional picture has been questioned over the past few years, however, on the basis of a one-electron pseudopotential model that predicts a more delocalized spin density and no distinct cavity. This Perspective reviews the known experimental properties of e(aq) along with attempts to reproduce and understand them using both one-electron models and many-electron quantum chemistry calculations. The overwhelming weight of the evidence continues to support the conventional excluded-volume picture of the aqueous electron.

Graphical abstract: Structure of the aqueous electron

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Article information

29 Jul 2019
02 Sep 2019
First published
02 Sep 2019

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2019,21, 20538-20565
Article type
Author version available

Structure of the aqueous electron

J. M. Herbert, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2019, 21, 20538
DOI: 10.1039/C9CP04222A

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