Interactions among water molecules localized in crystals tending to their orientational ordering


Water molecules separated by distances in the order of nanometres cannot form hydrogen bonds. Then, the dipole-dipole interaction plays a major role, inducing a dynamical behavior of water very different from the liquid phase. Such a situation occurs in specific crystals containing water of crystallization; there, the water response can be additionally altered by the hydration degree. The interactions lead to collective motions of water molecules which we will study by a set of methods of broadband dielectric spectroscopy. Within the project, we will explain the links between the spatial arrangement of water molecules and their collective dynamical response. As predicted theoretically, the dipole-dipole interaction may lead to ferroelectric ordering of water molecules accompanied by a mesoscopic electric field. Similar orderings could play a key role in various natural processes, e.g., influence the heterogeneous ice nucleation in nature. The project will enable us to predict configurations allowing the ferroelectric ordering, and, possibly, to prove this ordering experimentally.