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Chemical terminology for an electron in water

  1. May 15, 2018 #1
    I've read several papers that talk about electrons in water, clearly they don't last very long as they react quickly with the oxygen. But I'm confused about the terminology they use, some call them solvated electrons, some hydrated electrons and others aquated electrons.

    I can't seem to find a place that uses more than one of the above, so I'm assuming they are the same thing? Or are they different? Is it a question of terminology or do they mean something different?

    Thanks again for any help with this.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2018 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    I do not have specific knowledge about this, but were I to see those different terms in scientific papers, I would assume that they all mean the same thing.

    Hydrated will mean the same thing as solvated when water is the solvent. I've never head the term "aquated" before (only "aqueous"), and venture to guess that it comes from researchers whose mother tongue is not English. The word is not found in the OED.
  4. May 15, 2018 #3
    Yes I thought the same thing. Thanks very much for your opinion on this.
  5. May 15, 2018 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solvated_electron - I believe solvated is a broader category than hydrated (which suggests water as a solvent).

    But when it is clear the solvent is water solvated and hydrated would mean the same. At least to me.
  6. May 15, 2018 #5


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    Science Advisor

    When I did my thesis my thesis, in the neighbouring department they were doing measurements on the various stages of electron solvation and hydration, specifically, using ultrashort laser pulse spectroscopy. There were various stages identified, like e.g. "wet electrons".
    Here is a citation of their paper:
  7. May 16, 2018 #6
    This could be very useful for me, thanks.
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