An Oak Ridge National Laboratory-led research team used a sophisticated X-ray scattering technique to visualize and quantify the movement of water molecules in space and time, which provides new insights that may open pathways for liquid-based electronics. Credit: Jason Richards/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US Dept. of Energy
Dec. 22, 2017 (Phys.org) -- A novel approach to studying the viscosity of water has revealed new insights about the behavior of water molecules and may open pathways for liquid-based electronics.
A team of researchers led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory used a high-resolution inelastic X-ray scattering technique to measure the strong bond involving a hydrogen atom sandwiched between two oxygen atoms. This hydrogen bond is a quantum-mechanical phenomenon responsible for various properties of water, including viscosity, which determines a liquid's resistance to flow or to change shape.
While water is the most abundant substance on Earth, its behavior at a molecular level is not well understood.