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Editors’ Highlights delve into water

Two current publications from the CUI research have been selected by the editors of the scientific journal Nature Communications as particularly important contributions to inorganic and physical chemistry. Each month the editors select a small number of articles recently published in Nature Communications for their Editors’ Highlights webpage to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting works published in Nature Communications. Both highlighted publications delve into water.

The results obtained within a collaboration between the groups of Prof. Christian Bressler (European XFEL), Prof. Franz X. Kärtner (Universität Hamburg, DESY, MIT), Prof. Robin Santra (Universität Hamburg, DESY), and Prof. Michael Thorwart (Universität Hamburg) enable a more accurate parametrization and benchmarking of existing and future water models:

The chart shows the THz-induced Kerr effect in water and reference liquids. © Nature Communications

Reaction pathways of biochemical processes are influenced by the dissipative electrostatic interaction of the reagents with solvent water molecules. The simulations of these interactions require a parametrization of the permanent and induced dipole moments. The CUI researchers used a combination of terahertz pump / optical probe experiments, molecular dynamics simulations, and a Langevin dynamics model to demonstrate a transient orientation of their dipole moments, not possible by optical excitation.

Prof. Jochen Küpper’s group at CFEL participated in the second highlighted work. The scientists from Universität Hamburg and DESY together with colleagues from Universität Basel report that water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have now shown that these forms can exhibit different chemical reactivities. Read the entire news: Water is not simply water


Peter Zalden, Liwei Song, Xiaojun Wu, Haoyu Huang, Frederike Ahr, Oliver D. Mücke, Joscha Reichert, Michael Thorwart, Pankaj Kr. Mishra, Ralph Welsch, Robin Santra, Franz X. Kärtner & Christian Bressler
“Molecular polarizability anisotropy of liquid water revealed by terahertz-induced transient orientation”
Nature Communications 9, 2142 (2018)
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04481-5

Ardita Kilaj, Hong Gao, Daniel Rösch, Uxia Rivero, Jochen Küpper, Stefan Willitsch
„Observation of different reactivities of para- and ortho-water towards trapped diazenylium ions“
Nature Communications 9, 2096 (2018)
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04483-3

Nature Communications Editors’ Highlights Inorganic and Physical Chemistry

Text: CUI