Water at Interfaces Workshop

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: Chemistry


In September 2008, a successful Faraday Discussion was held at Heriot-Watt University on the topic Water: from Interfaces to the Bulk . The discussion highlighted many of the key areas of activity and dispute concerning the most important molecule on the planet. Three topics that generated extensive and often heated debate concern the structure and dynamics of water at interfaces:(i) water at metal surfaces,(ii) ions at interfaces (in particular the vexed question of whether the surface of water is acidic or basic),(iii) dynamics of water at biological interfaces.As a follow up to the Faraday Discussion a Workshop is planned on January 11-12, 2010 to discuss these three topics and to identify ways forward, through networks and collaborative research projects. The workshop will be by invitation only to leading UK and European researchers in the field and will be held under the auspices of the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University.

Planned Impact

The structure and dynamics of water at interfaces is central to a wide-range of problems, including heterogeneous catalysis, electrocatalysis, adsorption to solid surfaces, weathering, wetting, foam stability, emulsion stability, colloid stability, membrane processes, molecular recognition and protein folding, to mention but a few. This workshop will not undertake any research but will help to define some of the outstanding issues, identify approaches for resolving those issues and bring together participants in networks to address these problems. These networks will involve industrial companies as well as academic research groups. Relevant companies will be identified from the wide range of contacts of the participants in the workshop. Networks will provide a single point of contact for companies seeking professional advice or research collaborations concerning water at interfaces. The list of sectors that would benefit from a better understanding of interfacial water includes chemicals, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, energy, food processing, detergents, personal care, healthcare, waste water processing ... indeed almost any industrial sector that uses water.


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Description This workshop addressed key questions about the subject of water at interfaces, with leading researchers from across Europe. It led to a COST application for an EU network that unfortunately was not funded.
Exploitation Route N/A - grant proposal was unsuccessful
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology