EPSRC grant for Prof Klaas Wynne on ultrafast chemical physics
Issued: Tue, 27 Mar 2012 13:34:00 BST
Prof Klaas Wynne of the Dynamics and Structure grouping has won a £0.7M EPSRC grant entitled “The structure and dynamics of water confined in nanoscale pools: the dynamic crossover” with collaborator Dr Neil Hunt at Strathclyde. The work will be carried out in the ultrafast labs of Klaas Wynne (Glasgow University) and Neil Hunt (University of Strathclyde) and involves collaborations with Professor Fabio Bruni (Roma Tre University), Professor Francesco Mallamace (University of Messina), Professor H Eugene Stanley (Boston University), and Professor Casey Hynes (École Normale Supérieure and University of Colorado).
The peculiar behaviour of liquid and supercooled water has been baffling science for at least 236 years and is still seen as a major challenge facing chemistry today. It was suggested that such strange behaviour might be caused by thermodynamic transitions, possibly even a second critical point. This second critical point would terminate a coexistence line between low- and high-density amorphous phases of water. Unfortunately, this second critical point (if it exists) and the associated polyamorphic liquid-liquid transition is difficult to study as it is thought to lie below the homogeneous nucleation temperature in a region known as “no man’s land”. The new EPSRC grant will allow the research groups to study water confined in salt solutions with a number of femtosecond spectroscopic techniques.
Wynne and Hunt are part of the Ultrafast Chemical Physics (UCP) in the City of Glasgow group that aims to apply femtosecond laser spectroscopy to a great variety of problems in physics, chemistry, and biology. The UCP group has five core members and numerous associates and collaborators.
See also the Glasgow University press release Funding boost for Ultrafast Chemical Physics.