REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0202.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Optics Keywords: terahertz; Kerr effect; liquid water; hydrogen bond; aqueous solution
Online: 10 November 2022 (11:16:36 CET)
In recent years, various optical measurement technologies such as far-infrared spectroscopy, low-frequency Raman spectroscopy, optical Kerr effect spectroscopy, and two-dimensional Raman-terahertz spectroscopy have developed vigorously. By comparing the complementary aspects detected by various linear and nonlinear spectroscopic techniques, a coherent picture emerges from studies of dynamics in water. Numerous molecular dynamics experiments and theoretical investigations have demonstrated low-frequency molecular motions in liquid water. For example, intermolecular hydrogen bond vibration, molecular reorientation motion, and the interaction between molecule/ionic solute and hydrogen bond all occur in the THz region, which are closely related to their physical/chemical properties and structural dynamics. However, precise probing of various modes of motion is difficult due to the complexity of the collective and cooperative motion of molecules and the spectral overlap of related modes. With the development of THz optical technology, current state-of-the-art THz sources can generate pulsed electric fields with peak intensities on the order of ~MV/cm. Such strong fields make it possible to use THz waves as the driving light source for nonlinear polarization of the medium, which in turn leads to the development of the emerging terahertz Kerr effect (TKE) spectroscopy technique. Many low-frequency molecular motion modes, such as the collective directional motion of molecules and the cooperative motion under the constraint of weak intermolecular interactions, are resonantly excited to unprecedentedly strong amplitudes driven by the THz electric field. Thereby the collected responses are increased. The TKE technique thus creates an interesting prospect for investigating low-frequency dynamics in these media. In view of this, this paper firstly summarizes the research work on the measurement mechanism of TKE spectroscopy by taking the solid material without low-frequency molecular dynamics process as an example. Starting from the principle of TKE technology and the exploration of the properties of solid matter using this technology, its application in the exploration of low-frequency molecular dynamics of liquid water and aqueous solutions is introduced. Liquid water is considered the building block of life and possesses many extraordinary physical and biochemical properties. Its hydrogen bonding network plays a crucial role in these properties. It is generally believed that the ability of water to form complex hydrogen-bonding networks is the main reason for its various kinetic and thermodynamic properties that are different from other liquids. However, the exact structure of the hydrogen-bonding network, the spatial extent of its existence, and the associated timescale are not known. And the relevant spectral information of the basic properties of the reaction water is still not known. Therefore, it is of great significance to evaluate the hydrogen bond-related kinetic properties of liquid water by optical means.