Solvents have been traditionally regarded as inert media that transfer solutes into the liquid state. However, the ancient philosophers regarded solvents as far more active species, and today the new interdisciplinary field of solvation science aims at gaining a more detailed understanding of solvation phenomena. This can, for example, result in greater efficiency for industrial processes or help us explain biological reactions.
In her Editorial in Angewandte Chemie, Martina Havenith from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, introduces the subject of solvation science as well as the Cluster of Excellence RESOLV, which comprises 50 research groups from a number of research institutions including universities, Max Planck Institutes, and a Fraunhofer Institute. Research at RESOLV brings together a wide range of spectroscopic, synthetic, and engineering techniques in order to study solvation science.
Some of the areas under investigation include how solvation influences chemical reactions, the role of solvents in molecular recognition, and reactions at interfaces. These findings can ultimately be applied to relevant applications such as battery development or catalyst protection.
- Solvation Science: A New Interdisciplinary Field,
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015.