Water at Interfaces: A Molecular Approach, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Water at Interfaces

A Molecular Approach, 1st Edition

By Jordi Fraxedas

CRC Press

258 pages | 109 B/W Illus.

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Water, with its simple molecular structure, reveals a complex nature upon interaction with other molecules and surfaces. Water at Interfaces: A Molecular Approach provides a broad, multidisciplinary introduction to water at interfaces, focusing on its molecular characteristics. The book considers interfaces at different length scales from single water molecules to involvement of large numbers of water molecules, and from one-dimensional to three-dimensional interfaces. It begins with individual water molecules, describing their basic properties and the fundamental concepts that form the basis of this book.

The text explores the main interfaces involving pure and ion-free condensed (liquid and solid) water, including water vapor/liquid water, liquid/oil, and liquid/solid interfaces. It examines water molecules on ideal surfaces—well-ordered (crystalline) and defect-free—covering topics such as electronic structure using frontier orbitals and substrate-induced structuring. The book discusses the affinity of water to surfaces, hydrophobicity and hydrophilicity, emphasizing two extreme cases of affinity. It then addresses real solid surfaces where water/solid interfaces play a key role in actual working conditions, examining water purification, photocatalytic activity, corrosion and degradation, and atmospheric agents.

The final chapter deals with the interaction of water with the heterogeneous and complex surfaces of biomolecules, which can both influence the structure of the surrounding water and be modulated by the surrounding liquid. The author discusses simple to more complex biomolecules from peptides to proteins, nucleic acids, and membranes.

Table of Contents

An Introduction to Water

Where Does Water Come From?

Molecular Structure of Isolated Water Molecules

Hydrogen Bonding Off: van der Waals Interactions

Hydrogen Bonding On: Condensed Water

Elixir of Life


Interfaces of Condensed Pure Water

Liquid Water

Solid Water


Water on Ideal Solid Surfaces

Single Water Molecules and Clusters

Substrate-Induced Structuring of Mono- and Bilayers

Substrate-Induced Structuring of Water Multilayers

Confined Water

When Ions Come on the Scene


Hydrophobicity and Hydrophilicity

Wetting and Contact Angle

Hydrophobicity at Different Length Scales


The Role of Dipoles


Water on Real Solid Surfaces

Water Purification

Water Splitting

Atmospheric Agents

Capillary Adhesion

Water Desorption in Vacuum Systems


Water/Biomolecule Interfaces

Is Water a Biomolecule?


Nucleic Acids and DNA

Biological Membranes


Appendix A Buoyancy and Surface Tension

Appendix B Capillary Forces

Appendix C Marangoni–Bénard Patterns


About the Author

Jordi Fraxedas obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Stuttgart, Germany. His thesis work was performed at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research under the supervision of Prof. M. Cardona. After a post-doctoral position at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble (France) and an established researcher position at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN) in Geneva (Switzerland), he joined the Solid State Research Institute of Barcelona of the Spanish Research Council in 1995. He is now leading the Force Probe Microscopy and Surface Nanoengineering Group at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Bellaterra (Barcelona). His research activity is focused on interfacial phenomena arising from the nanostructuration of surfaces and from the interaction of molecules with surfaces. He has co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles and published the book entitled Molecular Organic Materials: From Molecules to Crystalline Solids (Cambridge University Press, 2006).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Chemistry / Physical & Theoretical