Glass Transition of Small Water Clusters


This was a presentation I gave at a gigantic recruitment event for a position of Special Post-doctoral Researcher at Riken. I must say that I did not get the job even though I got quite far: I was on a waiting list, so if someone had refused the offer, I would have got it. It is quite pity that I had to throw away the research idea.

I proposed to study a nature of low temperature structural transitions of small charged water clusters at the cryogenic storage ring operated by Atomic, Molecular & OpticalPhysics Laboratory (AMO) in Riken. I suggested to perform series of photo-excitation and photo-fragmentation experiments with size-selected water clusters in order to observe their structural relaxation in time, at various internal temperatures. The final goal would be to determine whether the three-dimensional water clusters undergo a glass transition or a chain of solid-to-solid transitions. If the existence of the glass phase was confirmed, I would try to isolate structural isomers. Success in doing so could open a pathway to preparation of pure enantiomers or deeper understanding of hydrogen-bonded molecular networks, for example.

Actually, now it seems that the project was overambitious. However, the main reason I failed was that I did not manage to explain an impact of the research. It took me quite a while to realise this.

The slides can be downloaded here.