Confined Water Molecules in Binary Mixtures of Water and 2,6-Lutidine Near Lower Solution Critical Temperature
We study the concentration and temperature dependence of the reorientation dynamics of water molecules in binary mixtures of water and 2,6-lutidine below the lower solution critical temperature (LSCT) with femtosecond mid-infrared pump–probe spectroscopy. The measurements reveal the presence of water molecules interacting with both the hydrophobic groups of lutidine and forming a hydrogen bond with the nitrogen atom of lutidine. Both types of molecules show a strongly decreased rotational mobility in comparison to bulk water. From the temperature dependence of the slow water fraction, we conclude that the lutidine molecules form clusters that decrease in size when the temperature is decreased further below the LSCT.