Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Water Dynamics in Aqueous Poly-N-Isopropylacrylamide Below and Through the Lower Critical Solution Temperature. The journal of physical chemistry. B Roget, S. A., Carter-Fenk, K. A., Fayer, M. D. 2022


    Poly-N-isopropylacrylamide (PNIPAM) is a thermo-responsive polymer that exhibits a reversible structural change from extended chains to aggregates in aqueous solution above its lower critical solution temperature (LCST). Using polarization-selective IR pump-probe spectroscopy, the water orientational dynamics in PNIPAM from below to above the LCST were examined and compared to those of its monomer solution, N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM), polyacrylamide, and an acrylamide monomer solution, which are not thermo-responsive. The OD stretch of dilute HOD in H2O is used as a vibrational probe of water orientational dynamics. Below the LCST of the polymer, NIPAM and PNIPAM solutions exhibited identical water dynamics that were significantly different from those of bulk water, containing both faster and slower components due to solute-water interactions. Therefore, there is no difference in the nature of water interactions with a single NIPAM moiety and a long polymer chain. For all systems, including PNIPAM below and above the LCST, the orientational dynamics were modeled with a bulk water component and a polymer/monomer-associated component based on previous experimental and computational findings. Above the LCST, PNIPAM showed fast water orientational relaxation but much slower long-time dynamics compared to those of NIPAM. The slow component in PNIPAM, which was too slow to be accurately measured due to the limited OD vibrational lifetime, is ascribed to water confined in small voids (<2 nm in diameter) of PNIPAM globules. These results highlight important details about thermo-responsive polymers and the dynamics of their solvation water as they undergo a significant structural change.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.jpcb.2c05506

    View details for PubMedID 36067498

  • Discerning Poly- and Monosaccharide Enrichment Mechanisms: Alginate and Glucuronate Adsorption to a Stearic Acid Sea Surface Microlayer ACS EARTH AND SPACE CHEMISTRY de Vasquez, M., Rogers, M. M., Carter-Fenk, K. A., Allen, H. C. 2022; 6 (6): 1581-1595
  • Water Dynamics and Structure of Highly Concentrated LiCl Solutions Investigated Using Ultrafast Infrared Spectroscopy. Journal of the American Chemical Society Roget, S. A., Carter-Fenk, K. A., Fayer, M. D. 2022


    In highly concentrated salt solutions, the water hydrogen bond (H-bond) network is completely disrupted by the presence of ions. Water is forced to restructure as dictated by the water-ion and ion-ion interactions. Using ultrafast polarization-selective pump-probe (PSPP) spectroscopy measurements of the OD stretch of dilute HOD, we demonstrate that the limited water-water H-bonding present in concentrated lithium chloride solutions (up to four waters per ion pair) is, on average, stronger than that occurring in bulk water. Furthermore, information on the orientational dynamics and the angular restriction of water H-bonded to both water oxygens and chloride anions was obtained through analysis of the frequency-dependent anisotropy decays. It was found that, when the salt concentration increased, the water showed increasing restriction and slowing at frequencies correlated with strong H-bonding. The angular restriction of the water molecules and strengthening of water-water H-bonds are due to the formation of a water-ion network not present in bulk water and dilute salt solutions. The structural evolution of the ionic medium was also observed through spectral diffusion of the OD stretch using 2D IR spectroscopy. Compared to bulk water, there is significant slowing of the biexponential spectral diffusion dynamics. The slowest component of the spectral diffusion (13 ps) is virtually identical to the time for complete reorientation of HOD measured with the PSPP experiments. This result suggests that the slowest component of the spectral diffusion reflects rearrangement of water molecules in the water-ion network.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/jacs.2c00616

    View details for PubMedID 35226487