WRAPPING UP HYDROPHOBIC HYDRATION

WRAPPING UP HYDROPHOBIC HYDRATION

NEWS HIGHLIGHT: Studied in detail, the embedding of hydrophobic molecules in water looks quite different than previously assumed.

RUHR EXPLORES SOLVATION SCIENCE

RUHR EXPLORES SOLVATION SCIENCE

We shape a new scientific discipline, inspire the scientists of tomorrow, and enable future technologies

WE ARE RESOLV

WE ARE RESOLV

Over 200 scientists from about 50 research groups in 6 institutions

ZEMOS: Home of Solvation Science @RUB

ZEMOS: Home of Solvation Science @RUB

The first research building for Solvation Science in the world. Hosts over 100 scientists, it's home to 6 disciplines.

WHAT is RESOLV?

The Cluster of Excellence RESOLV is an interdisciplinary research project of the Ruhr University Bochum and the TU Dortmund University, as well as four other institutions in the German Ruhr area. Since 2012, about 200 scientists cooperate to clarify how the solvent is involved in the control, mediation and regulation of chemical reactions. Our research is essential to advance technologies that could reuse CO2 for chemicals production, increase the efficiency of energy conversion and storage and develop smart sensors. RESOLV is funded by the German Federal Government and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia with 42 Mio. EUR over the period 2019-2025. 

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The teams of Martina Havenith and Dominik Marx from RUB have investigated chemistry in interstellar space conditions. © RUB
Solvent-controlled conformational flexibility of peptides, a paper from Wolfram Sander (RUB) and Elsa Sanchez-Garcia (University of Duisburg-Essen) ©ChemPhysChem
Water possesses an array of strange properties. For the first time, RESOLV speaker M.Havenith and her colleagues were able to completely observe all the movements between the water molecules, known as intermolecular vibrations. ©Public Domain
What happens when pressure is applied to protein droplets? A research of Roland Winter from TU University Dortmund ©R.Winter
In the Clever Lab: Guido Clever (r.) holding a 3D-printed supramolecular cage and Bin Chen (l.) holding a 3D-printed fullerene C60 molecule.
A. El-Arrassi from the group of K. Tschulik testing nanoparticles in electrochemical experiments inside a shielded cell. © RUB, Kramer

Interstellar acids, fullerenes and nanocatalysts – 6 papers from 2019

A selection of solvation papers from our highlights section.

 

1. HOW ACIDS BEHAVE IN ULTRACOLD INTERSTELLAR SPACE - Science Advances

Acids in water release protons, but how do they behave in interstellar space? Solvation scientists M. Havenith and D.Marx (RUB) have investigated how acids interact with water molecules at extremely low temperatures. Using spectroscopic analyses and computer simulations, they tackled the question of whether hydrochloric acid (HCl) does or does not release its proton in conditions like those found in interstellar space. The answer was neither yes nor no: At temperatures below -263 °C, the dissociation of a hydrochloric acid molecule depends on the order in which the team brought the water and acid molecules together. D. Mani et al., Sci. Adv. 2019; 5 : eaav8179

Read more

Watch video 

 

2. HOW THE SOLVENT CONTROLS A PEPTIDE'S STRUCTURE - ChemPhysChem

Solvent and temperature can affect the structural properties of cyclic peptides by controlling their flexibility. Solvation scientists Wolfram Sander (RUB) and Elsa Sanchez-Garcia (University of Duisburg-Essen) proposed a mechanism behind the temperature-dependent solvent-controlled conformational flexibility of cyclopeptides. They found out that the combined contribution of several weak intermolecular interactions - rather than by strong and specific solvent-peptide interactions - induces changes in the intramolecular interaction pattern of the peptide. This mechanism of solvent regulation of protein structural properties can find applications in the development of peptide ligands that regulate protein-protein interactions. N. Berger et al., ChemPhysChem2019, 20, 1664-1670

Read more 

 

3. HOW TWO WATER MOLECULES DANCE TOGETHER - Angew. Chemie

An international team led by solvation scientist Martina Havenith (RUB) has gained new insights into how water molecules interact. For the first time, the researchers were able to completely observe all of the movements between the water molecules. A certain movement of individual water molecules against each other, called hindered rotations, is particularly important. Among other things, the findings help to better determine the intermolecular energy landscape between water molecules and thus to better understand the strange properties of water - for instance, the fact that water reaches its highest density at four degrees Celsius. This is due to the special interactions between the water molecules. R.Schwan et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58,13119-13126

Read more 

 

4. HOW EYE-LENS PROTEINS GATHER OR SPREAD WITH PRESSURE - JACS

Just like water in a humid day condenses in drops, proteins in solution can gather into droplet-like ensembles and perform biological functions. Scientists think that these biomolecular systems have played a role in initiating life, as the harsh temperature and pressure conditions of the early Earth may have prompted simple organic compounds to condense into droplets. The group of solvation scientist Roland Winter from the TU Dortmund University could shed new light onto how pressure affects the condensation process of proteins in solution. Winter found that droplets of the eye-lens protein gamma-crystallin become resistant to high pressure by adding a protein stabilizer, called TMAO, found in deep-sea fishes. S.Cinar et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 18, 7347-7354

Read more

 

5. HOW TO DISSOLVE A FOOTBALL-SHAPED FULLERENE - JACS

Fullerenes are spherical molecular structures made only of carbon. The most famous fullerene is the C60, a football-shaped object of 60 carbon atoms. Despite these molecules being of technological relevance, for example in organic solar cells and medical research, chemists find it difficult to tinker with fullerenes, because they dissolve only in a few toxic solvents. Solvation scientist Guido Clever from TU Dortmund University and colleagues from Nagasaki University, Japan, synthesized and described supramolecular cage- and bowl-like structures that can host fullerenes and dissolve them in many more solvents (i.e. acetonitrile, acetone, nitromethane and DMF). B.Chen et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 22, 8907-8913

Read more 

 

6. HOW TO ACHIEVE HIGH REACTION RATES IN CATALYS WITHOUT PRECIOUS METALS - JACS

Non-precious metal nanoparticles could one day replace expensive catalysts for hydrogen production. However, it is often difficult to determine what reaction rates (aka efficiency) they can achieve, especially when it comes to oxide particles. This is because the particles must be attached to the electrode using a binder and conductive additives, which distort the results. With the aid of electrochemical analyses of individual nanoparticles, solvation scientist Kristina Tschulik has succeeded in determining the activity and substance conversion of nanocatalysts made from cobalt iron oxide - without any binders. A.E.Arrassi et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 23, 9197-9201

Read more

Posted on
The teams of Martina Havenith and Dominik Marx from RUB have investigated chemistry in interstellar space conditions. © RUB
Solvent-controlled conformational flexibility of peptides, a paper from Wolfram Sander (RUB) and Elsa Sanchez-Garcia (University of Duisburg-Essen) ©ChemPhysChem
Water possesses an array of strange properties. For the first time, RESOLV speaker M.Havenith and her colleagues were able to completely observe all the movements between the water molecules, known as intermolecular vibrations. ©Public Domain
What happens when pressure is applied to protein droplets? A research of Roland Winter from TU University Dortmund ©R.Winter
In the Clever Lab: Guido Clever (r.) holding a 3D-printed supramolecular cage and Bin Chen (l.) holding a 3D-printed fullerene C60 molecule.
A. El-Arrassi from the group of K. Tschulik testing nanoparticles in electrochemical experiments inside a shielded cell. © RUB, Kramer

Interstellar acids, fullerenes and nanocatalysts – 6 papers from 2019

A selection of solvation papers from our highlights section.

 

1. HOW ACIDS BEHAVE IN ULTRACOLD INTERSTELLAR SPACE - Science Advances

Acids in water release protons, but how do they behave in interstellar space? Solvation scientists M. Havenith and D.Marx (RUB) have investigated how acids interact with water molecules at extremely low temperatures. Using spectroscopic analyses and computer simulations, they tackled the question of whether hydrochloric acid (HCl) does or does not release its proton in conditions like those found in interstellar space. The answer was neither yes nor no: At temperatures below -263 °C, the dissociation of a hydrochloric acid molecule depends on the order in which the team brought the water and acid molecules together. D. Mani et al., Sci. Adv. 2019; 5 : eaav8179

Read more

Watch video 

 

2. HOW THE SOLVENT CONTROLS A PEPTIDE'S STRUCTURE - ChemPhysChem

Solvent and temperature can affect the structural properties of cyclic peptides by controlling their flexibility. Solvation scientists Wolfram Sander (RUB) and Elsa Sanchez-Garcia (University of Duisburg-Essen) proposed a mechanism behind the temperature-dependent solvent-controlled conformational flexibility of cyclopeptides. They found out that the combined contribution of several weak intermolecular interactions - rather than by strong and specific solvent-peptide interactions - induces changes in the intramolecular interaction pattern of the peptide. This mechanism of solvent regulation of protein structural properties can find applications in the development of peptide ligands that regulate protein-protein interactions. N. Berger et al., ChemPhysChem2019, 20, 1664-1670

Read more 

 

3. HOW TWO WATER MOLECULES DANCE TOGETHER - Angew. Chemie

An international team led by solvation scientist Martina Havenith (RUB) has gained new insights into how water molecules interact. For the first time, the researchers were able to completely observe all of the movements between the water molecules. A certain movement of individual water molecules against each other, called hindered rotations, is particularly important. Among other things, the findings help to better determine the intermolecular energy landscape between water molecules and thus to better understand the strange properties of water - for instance, the fact that water reaches its highest density at four degrees Celsius. This is due to the special interactions between the water molecules. R.Schwan et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58,13119-13126

Read more 

 

4. HOW EYE-LENS PROTEINS GATHER OR SPREAD WITH PRESSURE - JACS

Just like water in a humid day condenses in drops, proteins in solution can gather into droplet-like ensembles and perform biological functions. Scientists think that these biomolecular systems have played a role in initiating life, as the harsh temperature and pressure conditions of the early Earth may have prompted simple organic compounds to condense into droplets. The group of solvation scientist Roland Winter from the TU Dortmund University could shed new light onto how pressure affects the condensation process of proteins in solution. Winter found that droplets of the eye-lens protein gamma-crystallin become resistant to high pressure by adding a protein stabilizer, called TMAO, found in deep-sea fishes. S.Cinar et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 18, 7347-7354

Read more

 

5. HOW TO DISSOLVE A FOOTBALL-SHAPED FULLERENE - JACS

Fullerenes are spherical molecular structures made only of carbon. The most famous fullerene is the C60, a football-shaped object of 60 carbon atoms. Despite these molecules being of technological relevance, for example in organic solar cells and medical research, chemists find it difficult to tinker with fullerenes, because they dissolve only in a few toxic solvents. Solvation scientist Guido Clever from TU Dortmund University and colleagues from Nagasaki University, Japan, synthesized and described supramolecular cage- and bowl-like structures that can host fullerenes and dissolve them in many more solvents (i.e. acetonitrile, acetone, nitromethane and DMF). B.Chen et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 22, 8907-8913

Read more 

 

6. HOW TO ACHIEVE HIGH REACTION RATES IN CATALYS WITHOUT PRECIOUS METALS - JACS

Non-precious metal nanoparticles could one day replace expensive catalysts for hydrogen production. However, it is often difficult to determine what reaction rates (aka efficiency) they can achieve, especially when it comes to oxide particles. This is because the particles must be attached to the electrode using a binder and conductive additives, which distort the results. With the aid of electrochemical analyses of individual nanoparticles, solvation scientist Kristina Tschulik has succeeded in determining the activity and substance conversion of nanocatalysts made from cobalt iron oxide - without any binders. A.E.Arrassi et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 23, 9197-9201

Read more

Our scientific fields

Research Area I

Local Solvent Fluctuations in Heterogeneous Systems

 

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Research Area II

Solvent Control of Chemical Dynamics and Reactivity

 

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Research Area III

Solvation under Extreme Conditions

 

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Video: The solvent of life

Water. It’s the most abundant substance on Earth´s surface and in our bodies. But is water a passive spectator in the animated scene of bio-chemical reactions inside our cells? RESOLV scientists investigate the important role that water plays in the most diverse processes, bringing solvation science into the spotlight.

More videos from RESOLV 

Upcoming Events or browse all

Posted on
The teams of Martina Havenith and Dominik Marx from RUB have investigated chemistry in interstellar space conditions. © RUB
Solvent-controlled conformational flexibility of peptides, a paper from Wolfram Sander (RUB) and Elsa Sanchez-Garcia (University of Duisburg-Essen) ©ChemPhysChem
Water possesses an array of strange properties. For the first time, RESOLV speaker M.Havenith and her colleagues were able to completely observe all the movements between the water molecules, known as intermolecular vibrations. ©Public Domain
What happens when pressure is applied to protein droplets? A research of Roland Winter from TU University Dortmund ©R.Winter
In the Clever Lab: Guido Clever (r.) holding a 3D-printed supramolecular cage and Bin Chen (l.) holding a 3D-printed fullerene C60 molecule.
A. El-Arrassi from the group of K. Tschulik testing nanoparticles in electrochemical experiments inside a shielded cell. © RUB, Kramer

Interstellar acids, fullerenes and nanocatalysts – 6 papers from 2019

A selection of solvation papers from our highlights section.

 

1. HOW ACIDS BEHAVE IN ULTRACOLD INTERSTELLAR SPACE - Science Advances

Acids in water release protons, but how do they behave in interstellar space? Solvation scientists M. Havenith and D.Marx (RUB) have investigated how acids interact with water molecules at extremely low temperatures. Using spectroscopic analyses and computer simulations, they tackled the question of whether hydrochloric acid (HCl) does or does not release its proton in conditions like those found in interstellar space. The answer was neither yes nor no: At temperatures below -263 °C, the dissociation of a hydrochloric acid molecule depends on the order in which the team brought the water and acid molecules together. D. Mani et al., Sci. Adv. 2019; 5 : eaav8179

Read more

Watch video 

 

2. HOW THE SOLVENT CONTROLS A PEPTIDE'S STRUCTURE - ChemPhysChem

Solvent and temperature can affect the structural properties of cyclic peptides by controlling their flexibility. Solvation scientists Wolfram Sander (RUB) and Elsa Sanchez-Garcia (University of Duisburg-Essen) proposed a mechanism behind the temperature-dependent solvent-controlled conformational flexibility of cyclopeptides. They found out that the combined contribution of several weak intermolecular interactions - rather than by strong and specific solvent-peptide interactions - induces changes in the intramolecular interaction pattern of the peptide. This mechanism of solvent regulation of protein structural properties can find applications in the development of peptide ligands that regulate protein-protein interactions. N. Berger et al., ChemPhysChem2019, 20, 1664-1670

Read more 

 

3. HOW TWO WATER MOLECULES DANCE TOGETHER - Angew. Chemie

An international team led by solvation scientist Martina Havenith (RUB) has gained new insights into how water molecules interact. For the first time, the researchers were able to completely observe all of the movements between the water molecules. A certain movement of individual water molecules against each other, called hindered rotations, is particularly important. Among other things, the findings help to better determine the intermolecular energy landscape between water molecules and thus to better understand the strange properties of water - for instance, the fact that water reaches its highest density at four degrees Celsius. This is due to the special interactions between the water molecules. R.Schwan et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58,13119-13126

Read more 

 

4. HOW EYE-LENS PROTEINS GATHER OR SPREAD WITH PRESSURE - JACS

Just like water in a humid day condenses in drops, proteins in solution can gather into droplet-like ensembles and perform biological functions. Scientists think that these biomolecular systems have played a role in initiating life, as the harsh temperature and pressure conditions of the early Earth may have prompted simple organic compounds to condense into droplets. The group of solvation scientist Roland Winter from the TU Dortmund University could shed new light onto how pressure affects the condensation process of proteins in solution. Winter found that droplets of the eye-lens protein gamma-crystallin become resistant to high pressure by adding a protein stabilizer, called TMAO, found in deep-sea fishes. S.Cinar et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 18, 7347-7354

Read more

 

5. HOW TO DISSOLVE A FOOTBALL-SHAPED FULLERENE - JACS

Fullerenes are spherical molecular structures made only of carbon. The most famous fullerene is the C60, a football-shaped object of 60 carbon atoms. Despite these molecules being of technological relevance, for example in organic solar cells and medical research, chemists find it difficult to tinker with fullerenes, because they dissolve only in a few toxic solvents. Solvation scientist Guido Clever from TU Dortmund University and colleagues from Nagasaki University, Japan, synthesized and described supramolecular cage- and bowl-like structures that can host fullerenes and dissolve them in many more solvents (i.e. acetonitrile, acetone, nitromethane and DMF). B.Chen et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 22, 8907-8913

Read more 

 

6. HOW TO ACHIEVE HIGH REACTION RATES IN CATALYS WITHOUT PRECIOUS METALS - JACS

Non-precious metal nanoparticles could one day replace expensive catalysts for hydrogen production. However, it is often difficult to determine what reaction rates (aka efficiency) they can achieve, especially when it comes to oxide particles. This is because the particles must be attached to the electrode using a binder and conductive additives, which distort the results. With the aid of electrochemical analyses of individual nanoparticles, solvation scientist Kristina Tschulik has succeeded in determining the activity and substance conversion of nanocatalysts made from cobalt iron oxide - without any binders. A.E.Arrassi et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 23, 9197-9201

Read more

igss summer school

The integrated Graduate School Solvation Science hosts an annual Summer School at the Ruhr University Bochum. The school always takes place during Whitsuntide and is an integral part of the GSS students' training during their doctoral studies. The seventh Summer School Solvation Science has been cancelled for 2020 due to the current pandemic caused by the virus COVID-19. Stay tuned for updates!

International speakers, suggested by the students themselves, are invited to give keynote talks on their research in the field of Solvation Science. The Advanced Laboratory Modules give the students an excellent opportunity to learn new and interesting experimental and theoretical techniques within a specific research topic of their own choice. 

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Publications highlight

R Schwan, C Qu, D Mani, N Pal L van der Meer, B Redlich, C Leforestier, JM Bowman, G Schwaab, M Havenith
Observation of the Low-Frequency Spectrum of the Water Dimer as a Sensitive Test of the Water Dimer Potential and Dipole Moment Surfaces, Angew. Chem. 58 (2019), DOI: 10.1002/anie.201906048

N Berger, LJB Wollny, P Sokkar, S Mittal, J Mieres-Perez, R Stoll, W Sander, E Sanchez-Garcia
Solvent-Enhanced Conformational Flexibility of Cyclic Tetrapeptides, ChemPhysChem 20 (2019), 1664, DOI: 10.1002/cphc.201900345

A El Arrassi, Z Liu, MV Evers, N Blanc, G Bendt, S Saddeler, D Tetzlaff, D Pohl, C Damm, S Schulz, K Tschulik
Intrinsic Activity of Oxygen Evolution Catalysts Probed at Single CoFe2O4 Nanoparticles, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 141 (2019), 9197, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b04516

D Mani, R Pérez de Tudela, R Schwan, N Pal, S Körning, H Forbert, B Redlich, AFG van der Meer, G Schwaab, D Marx, M Havenith
Acid solvation versus dissociation at “stardust conditions”: Reaction sequence matters, Science Advances  5 (2019), eaav8179, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav8179

CAJ Hutter, MH Timachi, LM Hürlimann, I Zimmermann, P Egloff, H Göddeke, S Kucher, S Štefanic, M Karttunen, LV Schäfer, E Bordignon, MA Seeger
The extracellular gate shapes the energy profile of an ABC exporter, Nature Communications 10 (2019), 2260, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-09892-6

 

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