Multidisciplinary Research Journal

Experimental Evidence of Stable Aggregates of Water at Room Temperature and Normal Pressure After Iterative Contact with a Nafion® Polymer Membrane

Elia V1, Ausanio G4, De Ninno A3*, Gentile F1, Germano R2, Napoli E1 and Niccoli M1

1Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Naples “Federico II”, Complesso Universitario Monte Sant’Angelo, Via Cinthia 80126, Naples, Italy

2PROMETE Srl, CNR Spin off Via Buongiovanni, 49 80046 San Giorgio a Cremano (NA), Italy

3UTAPRAD-DIM Department C.R. ENEA Frascati, 00044 Frascati, Italy

4Department of Physics and CNR-SPIN University of Naples “Federico II”, Piazzale V. Tecchio 80 80125 Naples, Italy

*Correspondence E-mail: antonella.deninno@enea.it

Key Words: Water, Nafion membrane, Nanostructure, Conductivity, IR spectroscopy, UV-vis spectroscopy, Fluorescence microscopy, Light scattering, AFM

Received February 22nd, 2013; Accepted April 16th, 2013; Published May 15th, 2013; Available online May 19th, 2013

doi: 10.14294/WATER.2013.4

Abstract

Long-range effects in interactions between aqueous solutions and charged surfaces  have been frequently reported.  Six different experimental techniques have been used to study the properties of water after prolonged contact with a hydrophilic polymer. The presence of supra-molecular aggregates of water, hundreds of nanometres in size, have been observed at ambient pressure and temperature after iterative long-lasting contact of Milli-Q water with a Nafion surface. These isolated aggregates of water  also survive lyophilisation. Analytical deter-mination by Ion Chromatography allows us to exclude the role of contaminants. This suggests that water may possess an exceptional self-organisation capability  triggered by the contact with a hydrophilic surface.


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