A clear picture of water structure surrounding simple, nonpolar solutes, such as xenon or argon, has emerged over the past decade from molecular simulations. A confirmation of these results is provided by their ability to explain the unusual temperature dependence of hydrophobic hydration as reflected in pure water by the density maximum observed at 4 °C and the isothermal compressibility minimum at 50 °C. The two factors that determine water structure around simple, nonpolar solutes are: (1) the small size of water molecules and the directional hydrogen‐bonding nature of water, and (2) the fact that water molecules can also adopt ‘‘straddling’’ configurations around small solutes in order to maximize the number of hydrogen bonds with neighboring waters of hydration. These preferred configurations give rise to strong solute‐water orientational correlations. The presentation will show the importance of these strong solute‐water correlations in understanding the molecular nature of hydrophobic hydration and their possible relevance for a new hypothesized mechanism for sonoluminescence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics