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Proton conduction in structured water

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "PROWAT" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 3526 KV

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Project website
 Total cost 2˙495˙000 €
 EC max contribution 2˙495˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-AdG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-10-01   to  2021-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

In recent years water near surfaces and solutes has been observed to be differently structured and to show slower reorientation and hydrogen-bond dynamics than in bulk. Aqueous proton transfer is a process that strongly relies on the structure and dynamics of the hydrogen-bond network of liquid water and that often occurs near surfaces. Examples are thylakoid and mitochondrial membranes and the nanochannels of transmembrane proteins and fuel cells. An important but experimentally largely unexplored area of research is how the rate and mechanism of aqueous proton transfer change due to the surface-induced structuring of the water medium. Theoretical work showed that the structuring and nano-confinement of water can have a strong effect on the proton mobility. Recently, experimental tech- niques have been developed that are capable of probing the structural dynamics of water molecules and proton-hydration structures near surfaces. These techniques include heterodyne detected sum-frequency generation (HD-SFG) and two-dimensional HD-SFG (2D-HD-VSFG).

I propose to use these and other advanced spectroscopic techniques to study the rate and molecular mech- anisms of proton transfer through structured aqueous media. These systems include aqueous solutions of different solutes, water near extended surfaces like graphene and electrically switchable monolayers, and the aqueous nanochannels of metal-organic frameworks. These studies will provide a fundamen- tal understanding of the molecular mechanisms of aqueous proton transfer in natural and man-made (bio)molecular systems, and can lead to the development of new proton-conducting membranes and nanochannels with applications in fuel cells. The obtained knowledge can also lead to new strategies to control proton mobility, e.g. by electrical switching of the properties of the water network at surfaces and in nanochannels, i.e. to field-effect proton transistors.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 K. Meister, C. J. Moll, S. Chakraborty, B. Jana, A. L. DeVries, H. Ramløv, H. J. Bakker
Molecular structure of a hyperactive antifreeze protein adsorbed to ice
published pages: 131101, ISSN: 0021-9606, DOI: 10.1063/1.5090589
The Journal of Chemical Physics 150/13 2019-10-29
2019 Giulia Giubertoni, Oleksandr O. Sofronov, Huib J. Bakker
Observation of Distinct Carboxylic Acid Conformers in Aqueous Solution
published pages: 3217-3222, ISSN: 1948-7185, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.9b00915
The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 10/12 2019-10-29
2018 Oleksandr O. Sofronov, Huib J. Bakker
Energy Relaxation and Structural Dynamics of Protons in Water/DMSO Mixtures
published pages: 10005-10013, ISSN: 1520-6106, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.8b06938
The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 122/43 2019-10-28
2018 C. J. Moll, K. Meister, J. Kirschner, H. J. Bakker
Surface Structure of Solutions of Poly(vinyl alcohol) in Water
published pages: 10722-10727, ISSN: 1520-6106, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.8b08374
The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 122/47 2019-10-28
2019 Oleksandr O. Sofronov, Huib J. Bakker
Vibrational Relaxation Dynamics of the Core and Outer Part of Proton-Hydration Clusters
published pages: 6222-6228, ISSN: 1520-6106, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.9b02067
The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 123/29 2019-10-28

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