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December 8, 2005

Water-air Interface of Acidic Solutions

An image from a molecular dynamics computer simulation of the water-air interface of acidic solutions. The acid molecule (hydronium ion, shown in orange) has a counterintuitive tendency to prefer the interface instead of remaining buried deeper in the liquid region.

More about this Image
This behavior arises primarily from the molecular asymmetry on the ion, which leads to its preference for the interface. This result has highly significant implications for atmospheric chemistry, acid rain pollution, energy production by living organisms and the efficient utilization of hydrogen as a fuel in fuel cell technology.

This research was supported by National Science Foundation grant CHE 0317132. (Date of Image: Aug. 15, 2005)

Credit: Image created by Matt Petersen from the research group of Prof. G. A. Voth, University of Utah

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