Hydrogen bonds in liquid water studied by photoelectron spectroscopy

Bernd Winter, Emad F. Aziz, Uwe Hergenhahn, Manfred Faubel, Ingolf V. Hertel

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The authors report on photoelectron emission spectroscopy measurements of the oxygen 1s orbital of liquid water, using a liquid microjet in ultrahigh vacuum. By suitably changing the soft x-ray photon energy, within 600-1200 eV, the electron probing depth can be considerably altered as to either predominantly access the surface or predominantly bulk water molecules. The absolute probing depth in liquid water was inferred from the evolution of the O1s signal and from comparison with aqueous salt solution. The presence of two distinctive components in the core-level photoelectron spectrum, with significantly different binding energies, is revealed. The dominant contribution, at a vertical binding energy of 538.1 eV, was found in bulk and surface sensitive spectra. A weaker component at 536.6 eV binding energy appears to be present only in bulk water. Hartree-Fock calculations of O1s binding energies in different geometric arrangements of the water network are presented to rationalize the experimental distribution of O1s electron binding energies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124504
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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