LADE Seminar: Ali Hassanali (ICTP)

Overcoming Discrete Notions in the Physical Chemistry of Water


Is Liquid Water really a tale of two liquids? Is the structure of the excess proton in water an Eigen or Zundel species? Can molecules dissolved in water be rigidly classified into hydrophobic or hydrophilic? These are just a small sample of discrete/binary classifications which serve as fundamental theories in the physical chemistry of aqueous solutions. But how seriously should we take them? In this discussion, I will share a couple of stories that have recently emerged from our group that put these notions under the microscope. I will illustrate some recent work leveraging a battery of advanced data-driven techniques that is giving us a new language to investigate the chemical physics of solvation in a wide variety of contexts. These agnostic approaches unequivocally show that water at finite temperature cannot be considered as a two component (LDL vs HDL) liquid. Furthermore, waters consistent ion, the proton, a key player in determining pH, cannot be rationalized in terms of idealized chemical structures, the Eigen nor a Zundel species. I will then elucidate how data- driven approaches allow us to reach beyond our chemical imagination and to understand the importance of geometry in solvation thermodynamics as well as in the collective dynamics of liquid water. I will conclude with perspectives on some challenges and open problems in the field within the context of projects we are currently working on in the group.

Oct 11, 2023 11:30 AM — 12:30 PM
LADE Seminar
Edificio C1-S20, Centro Congressi, Area Science Park
Località Padriciano 99, Trieste, 34149
Area Science Park - RIT
Area Science Park - RIT
Research Institute

The Institute of Research and Innovation Technology (RIT) at Area Science Park carries out cutting-edge research and provides services and consulting to public and private-sector users through its three laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art technology.