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Neutron diffraction with isotopic substitution has been used to investigate aqueous solutions of 2M NaOH in the liquid state. The data were modeled using empirical potential structure refinement which allows for the extraction of the ion-water and water-water correlations. The data show that the ion-water radial distribution functions are in accordance with those found by previous studies on NaOH solutions and follow a trend which is dependent on the concentration of the solute. In particular, the shape of the hydroxide hydration shell is found to be concentration independent, but the number of water molecules occupying this shell increases with dilution. Additionally, the water-water correlations show that there is still a measurable effect on water structure with the addition of ions at this concentration, as the second shell in the water oxygen radial distribution function is compressed relative to the first shell. The data are also used to discuss the recent claims that the published radial distribution functions of water are unreliable, showing that data taken at different neutron sources, with different diffraction geometry and systematic errors lead to the same structural information when analyzed via a realistic modeling regime. © 2006 The American Physical Society.

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Journal article


Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics

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