Low-frequency modes of aqueous alkali halide solutions: Glimpsing the hydrogen bonding vibration

Ismael A. Heisler, Stephen R. Meech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Citations (Scopus)


A detailed picture of aqueous solvation of ions is central to the understanding of diverse phenomena in chemistry and biology. In this work, we report polarization resolved THz time domain measurements of the Raman spectral density of a wide range of aqueous salt solutions. In particular, the isotropic Raman spectral density reveals the frequency of the hydrogen bond formed between the halide ion and water. The frequency of this mode is measured for the series Cl-, Br-, and I- as a function of concentration, cation size, and charge. The frequencies extrapolated to zero concentration permit an estimation of the force constant of the mode, which is found to decrease with increasing halide mass and to be similar to the force constant associated with the water-water hydrogen bond. This result is consistent with recent calculations. The extrapolation of the frequency of the chloride hydrogen bond to zero concentration reveals a dependence of the frequency on the nature of the cation. This is ascribed to an interaction between the solvated anion and cation even at the lowest concentration studied here (<0.15 M). It is suggested that this behavior reflects the influence of the electric field of the cation on the hydrogen bond of an adjacent anion. Such interactions should be taken into account when modeling experimental data recorded at concentrations of ions in excess of 0.1 M. These measurements of the isotropic Raman spectral density are compared with those for the anisotropic response, which reflects the frequencies of the full range of hydrogen bonds in aqueous salt solutions. The anisotropic spectral density recovered can be modeled in terms of a concentration-dependent population of water-water H-bonds with a frequency unaffected by the ions, the halide-water hydrogen bonds, and a low-frequency collision-induced contribution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-860
Number of pages4
Issue number5967
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Cite this