Research Highlight – Unique Interface and Unexpected Behavior Help Explain How Heavy Metals Act

From The US Department of Energy’s Office of Science:

“Refining platinum, plutonium, or certain other metals often depends on how the metal behaves at liquid interfaces. The challenge? Scientists have limited ways to analyze the details of liquid interfaces. Now, researchers [at Washington State University and Argonne National Laboratories] described in significant detail how water molecules surround a platinum-based ion. Their description includes an unexpectedly complex structure that forms on the liquid’s surface. The team noticed no less than three different forms of water wrapping around the ion. The complex water structure is unexpected and it creates unusual behaviors compared to those observed around smaller and lighter ions under similar conditions.

Refining platinum and other precious metals involves moving the desired metal from one liquid to another. But little is known about how that transfer works on the molecular scale. This work helps explain how platinum and other heavy metals move and react across liquids.”

For the full story and publication, please visit the US DOE Website