The properties of water depend on its extended hydrogen bond network and the continual picosecond–time scale structural evolution of the network. Water molecules in confined environments with pools a few nanometers in diameter or at interfaces undergo hydrogen bond structural dynamics that differ drastically from the dynamics they undergo in bulk water. Orientational motions of water require hydrogen bond network rearrangement. Therefore, observations of orientational relaxation in nanoscopic water systems provide information about the influence of confinement and interfaces on hydrogen bond dynamics. Ultrafast infrared polarization- and wavelength-selective pump-probe experiments can measure the orientational relaxation of water and distinguish water at an interface from water removed from an interface. These experiments can be applied to water in reverse micelles (spherical nanopools). The results provide quantitative determination of the dynamics of water as a function of the size and nature of the confining structure.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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