What makes a hydrophobic surface hydrophobic?

Physical and Analytical Chemistry Seminar

Lecturer: Itai Schlesinger

22-22 Apr 2018 @ 12:30

Location: Faculty Seminar Room


The interaction between hydrophobic surfaces in water is widespread in nature and technology. Examples include protein folding, bio-membranes, ion channels, colloids, paints, cosmetics, and water treatment technologies. The prevalence of hydrophobic interactions motivated extensive research, which nevertheless did not culminate in a satisfactory understanding of this ubiquitous phenomenon, mainly due to the lack of suitable experimental tools. I will start the talk by briefly stating the current state of knowledge on hydrophobicity emphasizing knowledge gaps. This will be followed by a description of our home-built atomic force microscope, which is capable of mapping 3d solvation structures on surfaces with high spatial resolution and superb force sensitivity. Last, I will converse our findings which shed new light on this elusive interaction. I will show how truly general the hydrophobic interaction is, and will answer the question: what makes a hydrophobic surface hydrophobic?