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Nature 288, 465 - 467 (04 December 1980); doi:10.1038/288465a0

Proton mobility in ice

Marinus Kunst & John M. Warman

Interuniversitair Reactor Instituut, Mekelweg 15, 2629 JB Delft, The Netherlands

Ice is frequently taken as a model when factors controlling proton transport in hydrogen-bonded molecular networks are discussed. Such discussions have increased with the acknowledgement that proton transfer across cell membranes may play a significant part in energy conversion and storage in biological systems1–4 and that this transfer may involve hydrogen-bonded chains spanning the membrane5,6. However, there is still much uncertainty about the basic mode of proton displacement and the external factors which effect bulk proton transport in ice itself. We present here results of a microwave conductivity pulse radiolysis technique which has been used to determine the mobility of bare protons in ice, and thus reduce some of the uncertainty over proton mobility.

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