A “Perspective” article published in Journal of Chemical Physics by Jiang Ying’s Research Team

NOV . 03 2016
Peking University, Nov. 2, 2016: Recently, Jiang Ying’s research team, from the Center of Quantum Materials Science, Peking University, was invited to present a “perspective” paper entitled “Structure and dynamics of water at surfaces probed by scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy” in the Journal of Chemical Physics, an internationally authoritative journal in the field of Physical Chemistry. This paper introduces the application of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) in surface/interfacial water sciences over the last decade and gives an outlook for the directions and challenges of future research.
Surface/interfacial water is a ubiquitous part of everyday life and it is involved in multidisciplinary study. The spatial resolution of conventional techniques in surface/interfacial water study, e.g. spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), X-ray diffraction, neutron scattering, are limited to the order of a few hundred nanometers to a few micrometers, thus information on atomic scales cannot be obtained. Fortunately, scanning probe microscopy (SPM) has overcome these shortcomings and it has been applied to the single-level resolution of water at the beginning of this century to obtain many microscopic details neglected by traditional spectroscopy techniques and a lot of long debated scientific issues have been clarified.
In recent years, Jiang Ying’s research group has committed to the research and developmentof ultra-high resolution scanning probe microscopes and made a series of breakthroughs in surface/interfacial water research, including the first realization of the internal DOF imaging of water molecules and the direct identification of water hydrogen bonding network configuration,a direct observation of the coordinated quantum tunneling process of protons in the hydrogen-bonded network and the measurement of quantum chemical composition of hydrogen bonds at the single-bond level for the first time, revealing the nuclear quantum effect of water.

This review summarizes the latest advances in the study of structure, dynamics and nuclear quantum effects of scanning tunneling microscopy in the water/solid interface from imaging, spectroscopy and manipulation and proposes the possibility of studying more complicated and real water systems, e.g. confined water, ice block, hydrate etc. In addition, the review also looks at several new scanning probe technologies that will help to break through the limitations of traditional scanningprobe technology in sample, environment detection, time resolution, interference etc., thus providing new approaches for surface/interfacial water study.
This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation, Ministry of Science and Technology, "Ten Thousand Talent Program" and the Collaborative Innovation Center of Quantum Materials Science. Postdoctoral Fellow Guo Jing is the first author of the article. Co-authors include academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences Wang Enge, Professors Li Xinzheng and Xu Limei, Peking University and Professor Lu Jingtao, Huazhong University of Science and Technology.
Written by: Liang Youle
Edited by: Xu Liangdi
Source: PKU News (Chinese)