Relaxation dynamics of an exclusively adsorbed water molecule in mesoporous silica MCM-41-S was studied by using terahertz spectroscopy. With the temperature controlled from 0 to 50°C, we observed strongly frequency- and temperature-dependent dielectric relaxation responses, implying that, unlike ice, surface-adsorbed water molecules retained flourishing picosecond dynamics. Based on the Debye relaxation model, a relaxation time constant was found to increase from 1.77 to 4.83 ps when the water molecule was cooled from 50 to 0°C. An activation energy of ∼15 kJ/mol, which was in close agreement with a hydrogen-bonding energy, was further extracted from the Arrhenius analysis. Combined with previous molecular dynamics simulations, our results indicate that the reorientation relaxation originated from the "flip-flop" rotation of a three hydrogen-bonded surface-adsorbed water molecule.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)