Letter | Published:

Tetrahedral hydration of ions in solution


THE structure of electrolyte solutions is not yet known unequivocally despite its significance both in understanding the structure of liquids and in such areas as ion transport in membranes where both the number of water molecules and their disposition about an ion are of crucial importance. Using a new difference Raman spectroscopic technique, which makes it possible to suppress a large fraction of the spectrum of solutions, we have detected Raman bands which arise from vibrations of waters of hydration in the first hydration shell about alkali ions. The depolarisation and frequency data indicate that the oxygen atoms are tetrahedrally arranged about lithium and sodium ions.

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