Distinguished EPJ Referees

EPJ E Topical review - Structure and dynamics of nanoconfined water and aqueous solutions

Water, regarded as the matrix of life, is an ubiquitous and peculiar liquid that exhibits a plethora of anomalous properties, both in its stable and metastable bulk states, which fostered a lot of experimental and theoretical studies. Less explored is the field of water and aqueous systems confined in nanoporous materials that, in addition to its fundamental interest, are present in a number of practical situations, including biological and separation processes and energy generation and storage, among others. These facts have triggered a vast amount of research that, so far, has not been conveniently reviewed.

Thus, the purpose of this new review published in EPJE, is to report and discuss recent progress, achieved through experimental, theoretical and computational studies, on the structural, thermodynamics, and dynamics properties of water and aqueous solutions confined at the nanoscale in synthetic and biological media. The review deals with the following subjects: i) the pore size dependence of the melting and glass transition and nanosegregation effects; ii) the effect of confinement on water dissociation and reactivity; iii) the interplay between thermodynamics and dynamics for supercooled water within hydrophilic nanopores; iv) the diffusionand superflow properties of water through small nanopores; v) the transport properties of confined ionic aqueous solutions of practical relevance; vi) the structure and diffusion of nanoconfined aqueous solutions of ionic liquids; vii) the interplay between local hydrophobicity and non-covalent interactions in model nanoconfined aqueous systems; viii) the coupling between different physical interactions, chemical reactions and transport properties in aqueous solutions inside polymer-coated nanopores, in biological contexts.

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