Chemical physics

  • Article |

    Liquid ultrafast electron scattering measures structural responses in liquid water with femtosecond temporal and atomic spatial resolution to reveal a transient hydrogen bond contraction then thermalization preceding relaxation of the OH stretch.

    • Jie Yang
    • , Riccardo Dettori
    •  & Xijie Wang
  • Article |

    Optical imaging of single-molecule electrochemical reactions in aqueous solution enables super-resolution electrochemiluminescence microscopy, which can be used to monitor the adhesion dynamics of live cells with high spatiotemporal resolution.

    • Jinrun Dong
    • , Yuxian Lu
    •  & Jiandong Feng
  • Article |

    Spectroscopic measurements confirm that when water is adsorbed on drops of an alkali alloy at low pressure a gold-coloured metallic layer forms as electrons rapidly move from the drop into the water.

    • Philip E. Mason
    • , H. Christian Schewe
    •  & Pavel Jungwirth
  • Article |

    Experimental measurements of vibrational sum-frequency generation spectra indicate that the dielectric response of water near an electrode may be strongly asymmetric, with different responses to positive and negative electrode charge.

    • Angelo Montenegro
    • , Chayan Dutta
    •  & Alexander V. Benderskii
  • Letter |

    An analogue quantum simulator based on ultracold atoms in optical lattices and cavity quantum electrodynamics is proposed for the solution of quantum chemistry problems and tested numerically for a simple molecule.

    • Javier Argüello-Luengo
    • , Alejandro González-Tudela
    •  & J. Ignacio Cirac
  • Letter |

    Recombination of excitons to produce molecular light emission is made more efficient by controlling electron spin within the molecule to produce spin-triplet excitons only, without the usual accompanying spin-singlet excitons.

    • Kensuke Kimura
    • , Kuniyuki Miwa
    •  & Yousoo Kim
  • Letter |

    Colossal barocaloric effects are observed in the plastic crystal neopentylglycol and found to originate from the extensive molecular orientational disorder, giant compressibility and highly anharmonic lattice dynamics of the material.

    • Bing Li
    • , Yukinobu Kawakita
    •  & Zhidong Zhang
  • Letter |

    A fundamental electronic noise—beyond electronic thermal noise and voltage-activated shot noise—that is generated by temperature differences across nanoscale conductors is demonstrated, with possible implications for thermometry and electronics.

    • Ofir Shein Lumbroso
    • , Lena Simine
    •  & Oren Tal
  • Letter |

    Application of an electric field changes the transport and optical properties of samarium nickelate submerged in water, making it a suitable passive sensor of weak electric fields in salt water.

    • Zhen Zhang
    • , Derek Schwanz
    •  & Shriram Ramanathan
  • Letter |

    Magnetic hysteresis is observed in a dysprosocenium complex at temperatures of up to 60 kelvin, the origin of which is the localized metal–ligand vibrational modes unique to dysprosocenium.

    • Conrad A. P. Goodwin
    • , Fabrizio Ortu
    •  & David P. Mills
  • Letter |

    An analytical method of determining the mean first-passage time (the time taken by a random walker in confinement to reach a target point) is presented for a Gaussian non-Markovian random walker, thus revealing the importance of memory effects in first-passage statistics.

    • T. Guérin
    • , N. Levernier
    •  & R. Voituriez
  • Letter |

    Combining cavity-enhanced direct frequency comb spectroscopy with buffer gas cooling enables rapid collection of well-resolved infrared spectra for molecules such as nitromethane, naphthalene and adamantane, confirming the value of the combined approach for studying much larger and more complex molecules than have been probed so far.

    • Ben Spaun
    • , P. Bryan Changala
    •  & Jun Ye
  • Letter |

    Lithium–oxygen batteries allow oxygen to be reduced at the battery’s cathode when a current is drawn; in present-day batteries, this results in formation of Li2O2, but it is now shown that another high energy density material, namely LiO2, with better electronic conduction can be used instead as the discharge product, if the electrode is decorated with iridium nanoparticles.

    • Jun Lu
    • , Yun Jung Lee
    •  & Khalil Amine
  • Letter |

    The structure of the low-dimensional water confined in hydrophobic pores is shown, using electron microscopy and supported by molecular dynamics simulations, to be ‘square ice’, which does not have the conventional tetrahedral hydrogen bonding.

    • G. Algara-Siller
    • , O. Lehtinen
    •  & I. V. Grigorieva
  • Letter |

    Gas hydrates are ice-like solids that have guest species encaged within a crystalline water framework, making the empty hydrate a natural — though long assumed to be inaccessible — point of reference; it is now shown that several days of continuous vacuum pumping removes all guests from neon hydrate, and the physical properties of the empty hydrate have been determined.

    • Andrzej Falenty
    • , Thomas C. Hansen
    •  & Werner F. Kuhs
  • Letter |

    By passing light through a chiral sample — here vapours and solutions — in a specially designed ring cavity, the resulting chiral signals can be isolated from the achiral backgrounds and enhanced by a factor of more than 1,000, making them detectable in situations where conventional means of measurement fail.

    • Dimitris Sofikitis
    • , Lykourgos Bougas
    •  & T. Peter Rakitzis
  • Letter |

    A stable crystal phase and two metastable liquid phases of the ST2 model of water exist at the same deeply supercooled condition, and the two liquids undergo a first-order liquid–liquid transition that meets stringent thermodynamic criteria.

    • Jeremy C. Palmer
    • , Fausto Martelli
    •  & Pablo G. Debenedetti
  • Letter |

    Molecular dynamics simulations of melting ice have identified the spatial separation of a defect pair into its constituent components as a crucial first step: once this step has been taken, defects can persist and grow, and rapidly turn ice into liquid water.

    • Kenji Mochizuki
    • , Masakazu Matsumoto
    •  & Iwao Ohmine
  • Letter |

    X-ray diffraction is used to show that the structural distortion of magnetite below 125 kelvin is to a first approximation caused by charge ordering of its constituent iron ions, but that the localized electrons are distributed over three iron sites to form ‘trimeron’ quasiparticles.

    • Mark S. Senn
    • , Jon P. Wright
    •  & J. Paul Attfield
  • Letter |

    The physics of thermal diffusion — mass diffusion driven by a temperature gradient — is poorly understood. One obstacle has been that the Soret coefficient (ST, which describes the steady-state result of thermal diffusion) is sensitive to many factors. It is now shown that the difference in ST between isotopes of diffusing elements that are network modifiers is independent of composition and temperature. The findings suggest a theoretical approach for describing thermal diffusion in silicate melts and other complex solutions.

    • F. Huang
    • , P. Chakraborty
    •  & C. E. Lesher