Water confined in two-dimensions: Fundamentals and applications

Pantelis Bampoulis* (Corresponding Author), Kai Sotthewes, Edwin Dollekamp, Bene Poelsema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The behavior of water in close proximity to other materials under ambient conditions is of great significance due to its importance in a broad range of daily applications and scientific research. The structure and dynamics of water at an interface or in a nanopore are often significantly different from those of its bulk counterpart. Until recently, experimental access to these interfacial water structures was difficult to realize. The advent of two-dimensional materials, especially graphene, and the availability of various scanning probe microscopies were instrumental to visualize, characterize and provide fundamental knowledge of confined water. This review article summarizes the recent experimental and theoretical progress in a better understanding of water confined between layered Van der Waals materials. These results reveal that the structure and stability of the hydrogen bonded networks are determined by the elegant balance between water-surface and water-water interactions. The water-surface interactions often lead to structures that differ significantly from the conventional bilayer model of natural ice. Here, we review the current knowledge of water adsorption in different environments and intercalation within various confinements. In addition, we extend this review to cover the influence of interfacial water on the two-dimensional material cover and summarize the use of these systems in potential novel applications. Finally, we discuss emerged issues and identify some flaws in the present understanding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-264
Number of pages32
JournalSurface Science Reports
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Confined water
  • Diffusion
  • Graphene
  • Intercalation
  • Two-dimensional ice


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