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Effect of Dehydration on the Interfacial Water Structure at a Charged Polymer Surface: Negligible χ(3) Contribution to Sum Frequency Generation Signal

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journal contribution
posted on 17.01.2012, 00:00 by Shuji Ye, Guangming Liu, Hongchun Li, Fenggui Chen, Xiaowen Wang
Interfacial water structure at charged surfaces plays a key role in many physical, chemical, biological, environmental, and industrial processes. Understanding the release of interfacial water from the charged solid surfaces during dehydration process may provide insights into the mechanism of protein folding and the nature of weak molecular interactions. In this work, sum frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy (SFG-VS), supplemented by quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) measurements, has been applied to study the interfacial water structure at polyelectrolyte covered surfaces. Poly­[2-(dimethylamino)­ethyl methacrylate] (PDMAEMA) chains are grafted on solid surfaces to investigate the change of interfacial water structure with varying surface charge density induced by tuning the solution pH. At pH ≤ 7.1, SFG-VS intensity is linear to the loss of mass of interfacial water caused by the dehydration of PDMAEMA chains, and no reorientation of the strongly bonded water molecules is observed in the light of χpppssp ratio. χ(3) contribution to SFG signal is deduced based on the combination of SFG and QCM results. It is the first direct experimental evidence to reveal that the χ(3) has a negligible contribution to SFG signal of the interfacial water at a charged polymer surface.