Nanometric-sized water drops are everywhere—in the air as droplets or aerosols, in industrially produced medications, and within rocks and oil fields. To understand the behavior of these drops, it is necessary to know how they interact with their hydrophobic environment. This interaction takes places at the curved droplet interface, a sub-nanometric region that surrounds the small pocket of water. Researchers from EPFL, in collaboration with the institute AMOLF in the Netherlands have discovered that molecules on the surface of the drops were much more ordered than expected. Their surprising results have been published in Nature Communications. They pave the way to a better understanding of atmospheric, biological and geological processes.
Water is surprisingly ordered on the nanoscale