Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Discover New Way To Look At How Molecules Twist And Turn On Water

September 10, 2005
University of Oregon
Scientists at the University of Oregon Materials Science Institute have developed a general approach for determining molecular orientation at isotropic surfaces that may be used for the analysis of any adsorbate at any isotropic interface.

Chemists have discovered details about how the tadpole-shaped molecules found in many soaps and detergents bury their heads into the top-most surface of water, an insight expected to yield benefits such as better methods for cleaning up environmental hazards. (Illustration by Dennis Hore, Richmond Lab, University of Oregon)

Related Articles

"We have developed a method to determine the tiltand twist angles of these molecules at the surface, a characterizationthat is important for understanding how they might function in variouspractical applications," Richmond said. "This is a general approachthat has broad implications for a variety of chemically andbiologically important applications."

"With the head groups ofthese molecules happy to be surrounded by water molecules at the watersurface and their tails preferring to stick up out of the water,extending into the air or an adjacent oily layer in the case of an oilslick," Richmond explained, "such molecules known as surfactants aresome of the most pervasive and useful chemicals in the world, found inproducts ranging from motor oil to cosmetics. They are also keyingredients for environmental clean-up and oil recovery."

Thework by Richmond, Dennis Hore, Daniel Beaman and Daniel Parks providesa picture of how these surfactant molecules orient at an aqueoussurface. Theirs are the first studies to determine the detailedorientation of simple soap head groups at the water surface, using aunique combination of laser-based experiments and computer modeling.These studies add important new insights into ongoing studies in theRichmond laboratory that seek to understand how these surfactant headgroups change the properties of water at aqueous surfaces.


Richmond'sresearch on surfaces and interfaces, funded by the Department ofEnergy, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Office of NavalResearch, involves laser-based techniques and is related to biologicalprocesses, semiconductor processing and environmental clean-up efforts.At Oregon since 1985, she is the Richard M. and Patricia H. NoyesDistinguished Professor of Chemistry and a member of the university'sMaterials Science Institute. She founded the Committee on theAdvancement of Women Chemists (COACh), sponsored by the NationalScience Foundation, National Institutes of Health and the Department ofEnergy.

Hore is a postdoctoral associate and Beaman is a graduatestudent in the Richmond laboratory. Parks contributed as a visitingNSF-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates student fromWhitman College.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Oregon. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Cite This Page:

University of Oregon. "Scientists Discover New Way To Look At How Molecules Twist And Turn On Water." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050910091206.htm>.
University of Oregon. (2005, September 10). Scientists Discover New Way To Look At How Molecules Twist And Turn On Water. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050910091206.htm
University of Oregon. "Scientists Discover New Way To Look At How Molecules Twist And Turn On Water." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050910091206.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This

More From ScienceDaily

More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Elon Musk's Hyperloop Moves Forward

Elon Musk's Hyperloop Moves Forward

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) Zipping around at 800-miles an hour is coming closer to reality in California. An entire town is being built around Elon Musk&apos;s Hyperloop concept and it wants you to stop in for a ride when it&apos;s ready. Brett Larson is on board. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vibrating Bicycle Senses Traffic

Vibrating Bicycle Senses Traffic

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 26, 2015) Dutch scientists have developed a smart bicycle that uses sensors, wireless technology and video to warn riders of traffic dangers. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Japan, Robot Dogs Are for Life -- And Death

In Japan, Robot Dogs Are for Life -- And Death

AFP (Feb. 25, 2015) Robot dogs are the perfect pet for some in Japan who go to repairmen-turned-vets when their pooch breaks down - while a full Buddhist funeral ceremony awaits those who don&apos;t make it. Duration: 02:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
London Show Dissects History of Forensic Science

London Show Dissects History of Forensic Science

AFP (Feb. 25, 2015) Forensic science, which has fascinated generations with its unravelling of gruesome crime mysteries, is being put under the microscope in an exhibition of real criminal investigations in London. Duration: 00:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.


Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News


Free Subscriptions

Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile

Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?

Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins