Water Structure and Dynamics in the Stern Layer of Micelles: Femtosecond Mid-Infrared Pump-Probe Spectroscopy Study

Achintya Kundu, Pramod Kumar Verma, Minhaeng Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Molecular-level understanding of the water structure and dynamics in the Stern layer of micelles is important to elucidate the active role of water in biological processes on membrane surfaces. Micelles and reverse micelles are considered to be excellent membrane model systems. Here, to address the question of whether or not the spatial confinement effect on water in reverse micelles and nanometric water pool systems plays a role in modulating water dynamics, we consider four different aqueous micelle solutions and study the water dynamics in the Stern layer of micelles using a femtosecond mid-infrared pump-probe spectroscopy technique. Vibrational energy relaxation and rotational dynamics of the O-D stretch mode of HDO and the azido stretch mode of hydrazoic acid are critically dependent on the charge, polarity, and chemical structure of the surfactant head group. In particular, water molecules in the Stern layer of micelles, which are not in spatially confined environments, are notably different from those in bulk water. This finding clearly indicates that changes in the vibrational and rotational dynamics of water molecules, even in spatially confined systems, are mainly induced by surface effects instead of spatial confinement effects. We believe that the present experimental results are of importance for understanding water-involved biochemical processes on biological membranes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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