The hydrogen-bonding networks of water have strong intra- and intermolecular vibrational coupling which influences the energy dissipation and proton transfer in water. Disentangling and quantitative characterization of different coupling effects in water at a single-molecular level still remains a great challenge. Using tip-enhanced inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy (IETS) based on low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy, we report the direct quantitative assessment of the intermolecular coupling constants of the OH-stretch vibrational bands of an isolated water tetramer adsorbed on a Au(111)-supported NaCl(001) bilayer film. This is achieved by distinguishing various coupled modes of the H-bonded O–H stretching vibrations through tip-height dependent IET spectra. In contrast, such vibrational coupling is negligible in the half-deuterated water tetramer owing to the large energy mismatch between the OH and OD stretching modes. Not only do these findings advance our understanding on the effects of local environment on the intermolecular vibrational coupling in water, but also open up a new route for vibrational spectroscopic studies of extended H-bonded network at the single-molecular level.
Probing the intermolecular coupled vibrations in a water cluster with inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy
Jing Guo, Duanyun Cao, Ji Chen, Ke Bian, Li-Mei Xu, En-Ge Wang, Ying Jiang; Probing the intermolecular coupled vibrations in a water cluster with inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy. J. Chem. Phys. 21 June 2020; 152 (23): 234301. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0009385
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