Journal Article Quasi-stabilized hydration layers on muscovite mica under a thin water film grown from humid air

Arai, Toyoko  ,  Sato, Kohei  ,  Iida, Asuka  ,  Tomitori, Masahiko

7p.Article number: 4054 , 2017-06-22 , Springer Nature
The interfaces between solids and water films in air play fundamental roles in physicochemical phenomena, biological functions, and nano-fabrication. Though the properties of the interfaces have been considered to be irrelevant to the water film thickness, we found distinctive mechanical features of the interface between a cleaved muscovite mica surface and a thin water film grown in humid air, dissimilar to those in bulk water, using frequency-modulation atomic force microscopy. The thin water film grew with quasi-stabilized hydration networks of water molecules, tightly bound each other at the interface, to a thickness of ~2 nm at near-saturating humidity. Consequently, defective structures of the hydration networks persisted vertically through the hydration layers at the interface, and K^+ ions on the cleaved surface remained without dissolution into the water film. The results provide atomistic insights into thin water films in regard to epitaxial-like growth from vapour and the motion of water molecules and ions therein.

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