Reconstructed the 3D map of the water molecule

Reconstructed the 3D map of the water molecule

to understand Water properties They are fundamental to the scientific field, due to their profound influence on the chemical and physical processes essential to living organisms.

Researchers at the Institute of Chemical and Physical Processes have taken an important step forward National Research Council (ICPF-CNR) And fromUniversity of Messinaalong with colleagues from Arizona State University.

The study conducted by the researchers aimed to Understand the effect of electric fields on waterBecause it is known so far that the interactions between these intense local electric fields determine the behavior of matter at the molecular level.

The result is published in Journal of Chemical Physicshe was there The first 3D map of water moleculesObtained through giant computer simulations. And in more detail, the researchers found that The water molecules arrange themselves parallel to the electric field lines When exposed to strong electric fields.

So discovery allows it Study in more detail the interactions between molecules within biological processeswhere the effects of electric fields are known to be relevant.

Properties of water that make H molecules special2or

The study, conducted by Italian and American researchers, demonstrates once again how important it is to get acquainted H particle properties2or. In fact, this is exactly the structure water molecule which determines the chemical, physical and biochemical behavior of this precious resource.

As is well known, the H2O is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom arranged in an 3D hairpin structure which, through the repulsion and attraction forces exerted by the unshared electron pairs of oxygen, have The bond angle is 104.5° (Under normal circumstances it should be 109 degrees).

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Another feature of water molecules is small sizeIn fact, it’s only 0.2 nanometers in diameter, so small that there are up to a trillion water molecules inside the droplet.

H molecule2Or is it even a electric dipoleas it has oppositely charged poles and is therefore electrically neutral, in addition to containingHigh surface tension and capillarythat is, the ability to flow into very narrow spaces, such as cracks of a few millimeters in size in rock.

He has water tooHigh heat capacity, is higher than the percentage of alcohol and iron, which is why a lot of energy is needed to increase its temperature. The polarity allows the water to be a Versatile solventOr capable of dissolving various substances such as minerals in underground rocks.

The specificity of the water molecule is its own Its density decreases when it changes from a liquid to a gaseous stateWhile the opposite is usually the case. However, this phenomenon can be observed when the temperature drops below 4°C.

Quantum motions in water reveal more information

The different properties and quirks of water molecules can be explained by an observation Quantum motions of H2or.

Researchers from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory of Stanford University’s Department of Energy and Stockholm University have attempted to unlock some of water’s secrets, and are the first to see these motions of water in molecules excited by laser light.

In particular, this technique allowed scientists See hydrogen bondsthat is, the forces that connect the network that are created between molecules close to each other due to water polarity.

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In fact, the creation of two poles occurs because the two hydrogen atoms share their electrons with the oxygen atom, a phenomenon that creates a slightly positive pole and a slightly negative pole. By firing pulses of electrons at tiny jets of water, the researchers immortalized these bonds through… Special electronic camera.

And in practice, when energy is applied to these water molecules They start shakingwith hydrogen atoms they attract oxygen atoms nearby and then They refuse due to increased energy.

Studies like this and those conducted by ICPF-CNR researchers are essential to better understand water properties, for example Understanding how H2or lead to life And it allows to survive on this planet, but also to evolve New forms of renewable energy.

picture for Ronnie Michaud from pixabay

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