Terahertz Pulsed Spectroscopy as a New Tool for Measuring the Structuring Effect of Solutes on Water

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Absorption spectra of aqueous solution of ''chaotropes'' (structure maker) and ''kosmotropes'' (structure breaker) have been recorded in the mid-infrared (MIR) and terahertz (THz) spectral region. A different impact of the two groups of solutes on the absorption spectrum of water was found in the recorded THz spectra. A concentration-dependent increased absorption across the investigated THz spectral region (0.04–2 THz, 1.3–66 cm−1, respectively) has been recorded for all studied chaotropic solutions, whereas the opposite has been obtained for kosmotrope containing solutions. In the case of ionic solutes a further increase in absorption towards higher frequencies was measured. The distinction between chaotrope and kosmotrope solutes was, as expected, also possible in the MIR spectral region. Depending on the structure-forming effect of the solute the OH stretch vibration of the water (around 3400 cm−1) was slightly shifted. A red shift has been observed for solution of kosmotropes, whereas a blue shift was observed in the case of solutions containing chaotropes. Compared to the MIR spectral region the structure influencing effect of solutes can be more efficiently studied in the THz spectral region, which provides information from interactions between neighboring water molecules.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1366/0003702053641351

Affiliations: Institute of Chemical Technologies and Analytics, Vienna University of Technology, Getreidemarkt 9-164, 1060 Vienna, Austria

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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