Impact of electron solvation on ice structures at the molecular scale

Bertram, C. and Auburger, P. and Bockstedte, M. and Stähler, J. and Bovensiepen, U. and Morgenstern, K.

Volume: 11 Pages: 1310-1316
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.9b03723
Published: 2020

Electron attachment and solvation at ice structures are well-known phenomena. The energy liberated in such events is commonly understood to cause temporary changes at such ice structures, but it may also trigger permanent modifications to a yet unknown extent. We determine the impact of electron solvation on D2O structures adsorbed on Cu(111) with low-Temperature scanning tunneling microscopy, two-photon photoemission, and ab initio theory. Solvated electrons, generated by ultraviolet photons, lead not only to transient but also to permanent structural changes through the rearrangement of individual molecules. The persistent changes occur near sites with a high density of dangling OD groups that facilitate electron solvation. We conclude that energy dissipation during solvation triggers permanent molecular rearrangement via vibrational excitation. Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.

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