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Q Rev Biophys. 1985 Nov;18(4):323-422.

The Hofmeister effect and the behaviour of water at interfaces.

Abstract

Starting from known properties of non-specific salt effects on the surface tension at an air-water interface, we propose the first general, detailed qualitative molecular mechanism for the origins of ion-specific (Hofmeister) effects on the surface potential difference at an air-water interface; this mechanism suggests a simple model for the behaviour of water at all interfaces (including water-solute interfaces), regardless of whether the non-aqueous component is neutral or charged, polar or non-polar. Specifically, water near an isolated interface is conceptually divided into three layers, each layer being I water-molecule thick. We propose that the solute determines the behaviour of the adjacent first interfacial water layer (I1); that the bulk solution determines the behaviour of the third interfacial water layer (I3), and that both I1 and I3 compete for hydrogen-bonding interactions with the intervening water layer (I2), which can be thought of as a transition layer. The model requires that a polar kosmotrope (polar water-structure maker) interact with I1 more strongly than would bulk water in its place; that a chaotrope (water-structure breaker) interact with I1 somewhat less strongly than would bulk water in its place; and that a non-polar kosmotrope (non-polar water-structure maker) interact with I1 much less strongly than would bulk water in its place. We introduce two simple new postulates to describe the behaviour of I1 water molecules in aqueous solution. The first, the 'relative competition' postulate, states that an I1 water molecule, in maximizing its free energy (--delta G), will favour those of its highly directional polar (hydrogen-bonding) interactions with its immediate neighbours for which the maximum pairwise enthalpy of interaction (--delta H) is greatest; that is, it will favour the strongest interactions. We describe such behaviour as 'compliant', since an I1 water molecule will continually adjust its position to maximize these strong interactions. Its behaviour towards its remaining immediate neighbours, with whom it interacts relatively weakly (but still favourably), we describe as 'recalcitrant', since it will be unable to adjust its position to maximize simultaneously these interactions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

PMID:
3916340
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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