Three-dimensional ordering of water molecules reflecting hydroxyl groups on sapphire (001) and α-quartz (100) surfaces

S Nagai and S Urata and K Suga and T Fukuma and Y Hayashi and K Miyazawa, NANOSCALE, 15, 13262-13271 (2023).

DOI: 10.1039/d3nr02498a

Water molecules on oxide surfaces influence the chemical reactivity and molecular adsorption behavior of oxides. Herein, three-dimensional atomic force microscopy (3D-AFM) and molecular dynamics simulations are used to visualize the surface hydroxyl (OH) groups and their hydration structures on sapphire (001) and & alpha;-quartz (100) surfaces at the atomic-scale. The obtained results revealed that the spatial density distributions and hydrogen-bonding strengths of surface OH groups affect their local hydration structures. In particular, the force curves obtained by 3D-AFM suggest that the hydration forces of water molecules intensify at sites where water molecules strongly interact with the surface OH groups. The insights obtained in this study deepen our understanding of the affinities of Al2O3 and SiO2 for water molecules and contribute to the use of 3D-AFM in the investigation of atomic-scale hydration structures on various surfaces, thereby benefiting a wide range of research fields dealing with solid-liquid interfaces.

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