Water Ordering Induced by Interfaces: An Experimental and Theoretical Study

Yinnon TA1*, Elia V2, Napoli E2, Germano R3, Liu ZQ4

1 K. Kalia, D.N. Kikar Jordan 90666, Israel

2 University ‘‘Federico II’’ Universitario di Monte S’Angelo, Via Cintia, I-80126 Naples, Italy

3 PROMETE Srl, CNR Spin off, via Buongiovanni, 49 I-80046 San Giorgio a Cremano (Naples),  Italy

4 Department of Physics Qufu Normal University, Qufu, 273165, China

*Correspondence E-mail: lwcdsrc@kalia.org.il

Key Words: Interfacial water; exclusion-zone water; water aggregates; ferroelectric ordering; domains. 

Received Jan 13th 2015; Revised May 6th; Accepted June 24th; Published March 30th 2016; Online June 5th

For a list of abbreviations, see page 121-122.

doi: 10.14294/WATER.2015.3



We study interfacial water by a novel method — we examine its stabilization in bulk water. Our study evidences that in an iterative immersion process [placing a hydrophilic membrane (Nafion®) in ultra-pure Milli-Q water kept in a plastic Petri capsule, manual agitations causing the liquid to lap against the membrane, removal and drying of the membrane, repetition of these steps] leads to ordering of part of the water molecules in the remnant liquid. It endows the remnant liquid with physicochemical characteristics similar to those of the membrane’s interfacial water. The orderings persist for macroscopic times (at least many days). These are very stable. These persist after drying or lyophilizing the remnant liquid, leaving a macroscopic solid residue at ambient temperature and pressure: a new solid phase of water. We report new experimental results (thermogravimetric measurements on the solid residues and density data on the liquid). These enable us to provide the first consistent explanations of previously reported characteristics of these orderings (observed by a wide variety of techniques, e.g., fluorescence microscopy, conductivity, pH for the liquid phase and IR spectroscopy on the solid residues). Our main findings are: (1) The up to hundreds of micrometers wide zone of ordered water near a hydrophilic surface, which excludes solutes and therefore in the literature termed “exclusion zone water”, is attributable to stabilization of liquid aggregates wherein water molecules are ferroelectric ordered. (2) The surface’s charge distribution and the ferroelectric ordering affect the electron cloud of the water molecules and lead to their organization in ~0.1 micrometers sized domains. (3) Critical temperatures for formation of the aggregates and domains, predicted in previous publications, are for the first time verified by our thermogravimetric data.

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