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Journal for Biophysical Chemistry

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  • Open Access

Water at polar and nonpolar solid walls (Review)

  • 1,
  • 1, 2,
  • 1,
  • 1, 3,
  • 1 and
  • 1

  • Received: 25 July 2008
  • Accepted: 23 September 2008
  • Published:


Recent progress in simulating the properties of interfacial water at hard hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces is reviewed and compared to results for the air/water interface. The authors discuss static properties such as the equilibrium contact angle, the depletion layer thickness, and the orientation of interfacial water molecules. Relations between these properties, e.g., the relation between the contact angle and the thickness of the depletion layer which is experimentally observed on hydrophobic surfaces, are emphasized. For a hydrophilic sapphire surface, the authors discuss the influence of geometry and density of polar surface groups on the interfacial water structure. They discuss nonequilibrium effects arising in laminar shear flows, where the classic no-slip hydrodynamic boundary condition is violated at hydrophobic interfaces. They discuss the arising slip and relate it to static properties of the solid hydrophobic/water interface.