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Liquids and Water Properties

Material Science & Chemistry

Week Seven Lecture
Properties of Liquids
Of the three states, only liquids combine the
ability to flow with the effects of strong
intermolecular forces.
The three properties which will be discussed
1. Surface Tension
2. Capillarity
3. Viscosity
Surface Tension
Intermolecular forces have different effects on
a molecule at the surface than on one in the
An interior molecule is attracted by other on all
A surface molecule is only attracted by others
below and to the sides, so it experiences a net
attraction downward.
Therefore, to increase attractions and become
more stable, a surface molecule tends to
move into the interior.
For this reason, a liquid surface has the fewest
molecules and, thus, the smallest area
The surface tension is the energy required to
increase the surface area and has units of
The stronger the forces between particles, the
more energy it takes to increase the surface
area, so the greater the surface tension.
Water has a high surface tension because its
molecules form multiple H bonds. Surfactants
(surface-active agents).
Soaps, petroleum recovery agents, and fat
emulsifiers, decrease the surface tension of
water by congregating at the surface and
disrupting the H bonds
The rising of a liquid against the pull of gravity
through a narrow space, such as a thin tube, is
called capillary action, or capillarity.
Capillarity results from a competition between
the intermolecular forces within the liquid
(cohesive forces) and those between the
liquid and the tube walls (adhesive forces)
Capillarity of Water and Mercury
Viscosity is the resistance of a fluid to flow, and it
results from intermolecular attractions that
impede the movement of molecules around and
past each other.
Effect of temperature: Viscosity decreases with
Effect of molecular shape: Small, spherical
molecules make little contact and pour easily, like
buckshot from a bowl. Long molecules make
more contact and become entangled and pour
slowly, like cooked spaghetti from a bowl.
Uniqueness of Water
Each O and H atom attains a filled outer level
by sharing electrons in single bonds. With two
bonding pairs and two lone pairs around O
and a large electronegativity difference in
each OH bond, the H2O molecule is bent and
highly polar.
Solvent Properties of Water
The great solvent power of water results from its
polarity and H-bonding ability:
It dissolves ionic compounds through ion-dipole forces
that separate the ions from the solid and keep them in
It dissolves polar nonionic substances, such as ethanol
(CH3CH2OH) and glucose (C6H12O6), by H bonding.
It dissolves nonpolar atmospheric gases to a limited
extent through dipoleinduced dipole and dispersion
Thermal Properties of Water
Specific heat capacity: Because water has so
many strong H bonds, its specific heat capacity
is higher than any common liquid.
Heat of vaporization: Numerous strong H
bonds give water a very high heat of
Other Special Properties of Water
Surface Properties of Water: Hydrogen
bonding is also responsible for waters high
surface tension and high capillarity. Except for
some molten metals and salts, water has the
highest surface tension of any liquid.
Unusual Density of Water: In solid state the
hydrogen bonds give rise to a open structure
in ice. Water is most dense at 4 degree celcius.
Significance of Water
A solute dissolves in a solvent to form a
The physical state of the solvent usually
determines the physical state of the solution.
Solutions can be gaseous, liquid, or solid, but
we focus mostly on liquid solutions because
they are by far the most important.
The solubility (S) of a solute is the maximum
amount that dissolves in a fixed quantity of a
given solvent at a given temperature, when an
excess of the solute is present.
Different solutes have different solubilities:
Sodium chloride (NaCl), S 5 39.12 g/100. mL water at
100 degree Celsius.
Silver chloride (AgCl), S 5 0.0021 g/100. mL water at
100 degree Celsius.
Solubility is a quantitative term, but dilute and
concentrated are qualitative.
Intermolecular Forces in Solutions
Ion dipole interactions are the reason
ionic compounds dissolve in water.
Forces compete: When a soluble salt
is added to water, the ions attract the
oppositely charged pole of a water
molecule. These attractions compete
with and overcome attractions
between the ions, and the crystal
structure breaks down.
Hydration shells form: As an ion
separates, water molecules cluster
around it in hydration shells.
Hydrogen bonding is the principal force in
solutions of polar, O- and N-containing organic
and biological compounds, such as alcohols,
amines, and amino acids.
Dipole-dipole forces, in the absence of H
bonding, allow polar molecules like propanal
(CH3CH2CHO) to dissolve in polar solvents like
dichloromethane (CH2Cl2).
Ioninduced dipole forces, one type of charge-
induced dipole force, rely on polarizability. They
arise when an ions charge distorts the electron
cloud of a nearby nonpolar molecule.
Dipoleinduced dipole forces, also based on
polarizability, arise when a polar molecule
distorts the electron cloud of a nonpolar
molecule. They are weaker than ion induced
dipole forces because the charge of each pole
is less than an ions.
Dispersion forces contribute to the solubility
of all solutes in all solvents, but they are the
principal intermolecular force in solutions of
nonpolar substances, such as petroleum and
Next Lecture
Ionic salts
Covalent networks and molecular solids
Chemical aspects of ceramics and glasses
Chemical vapour deposition