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Water at interfaces Faraday Discussion

20 - 22 September 2023, London, United Kingdom

There are major water-related challenges that require enhanced molecular-level understanding and description of water at interfaces, to relate that understanding to macroscopic phenomena in aqueous systems, and then ultimately utilize or control those phenomena. Interfacial water is crucial for disciplines as diverse as atmospheric science, geochemistry, energy science, water purification/desalination, and biology.

This Faraday Discussion aims to combine different approaches, both experimental and theoretical, to further our understanding of the fundamental properties of water at interfaces. Such insights are expected to have important implications for chemistry, biology and potentially medicine; key sustainable technologies such as filtration, desalination, and photocatalytic water splitting; as well as modelling of processes in atmospheric chemistry and physics.


Dynamics and Nano-Rheology of Interfacial Water
While we have made progress in understanding the static properties of interfacial water, water is in motion for many naturally occurring phenomena (raindrops falling, rivers flowing, etc.) and technological applications (water traversing membranes in water purification, desalination). At the nanoscale, the description of water in terms of its macroscopic properties (density, viscosity, etc.) breaks down, and novel concepts and experimental approaches are needed to further our understanding.

Electrified / Charged Aqueous Interfaces
Interfaces are often charged, because of the intrinsic charge of the material interface and membrane interface, as well as the emergence of the counter charge as a response of the water pH. In electrochemistry, charge is applied to drive molecular orientation, charge transfer, and chemical transformation. These interfaces induce ion condensation, generating the electrical double layer – Stern layer and diffuse layer Although it is evident that the molecular organization at electrochemical, electrified interfaces determines the chemistry occurring at these interfaces, the description of these processes still occurs at a mean-field level. Is that sufficient?

Ice Interfaces
Ice is omnipresent in the environment and constitutes an entirely different aqueous interface than that of the liquid. Or does it? The ice-vapor interface starts to be disordered – with reportedly liquid-like properties – above 200 K, much lower than the melting point of bulk ice. This disordered layer is often called the quasi-liquid layer. This quasi-liquid layer plays a critical role in the lubrication of ice surface, gas uptake by ice, and growth of aerosols affecting climate change. Furthermore, ice nucleation process such as heterogeneous ice nucleation which is bound to the material interface affects the biological functions of animals in the cold sea as well as technology aiming at controlling friction of ice. 

Soft Matter-Water Interface
Soft matter ranges from the biological membrane interface to the polymer interface. Biological interfaces often are unstable without water; water drives the self-assembly of biological structures, and through the interaction with interfacial water, their biological function emerges. Polymer interfaces allow control over the hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity, and the variation of the interfacial water properties e.g. pH and temperature, alters the formation of polymers, making polymer materials useful for drug delivery and coating. A particularly interesting soft matter-water interface is the interface that originates from liquid-liquid phase separation in aqueous solutions of polymers and intrinsically disordered proteins. All these interfaces have in common that molecular-level insights into the interactions of these interfaces with interfacial water remain unclear.

Abstract Submission

Oral abstracts

Abstract submission is now closed.
A full research paper containing new unpublished results always accompanies oral presentations at Faraday Discussions. Submit an oral/paper abstract by 9 January 2023  if you wish to be considered for an oral presentation and associated published paper. The oral/paper abstract should outline current research in progress. Authors of the selected abstracts must then submit a full research paper with a significant amount of new, unpublished work by 15 May 2023.

The research papers are reviewed upon submission and are sent to all delegates 4 weeks before the meeting so they can be read in advance. At the meeting the presenting author is allowed five minutes to highlight the main points of their paper, and the rest of the time is for discussion. The discussion is recorded and will be published alongside the research paper in the Faraday Discussion Volume.

Poster abstracts

Abstract submission is now closed.
Submit your poster abstract by 10 July 2023. Posters are displayed throughout the meeting, both in-person and online. A poster prize will be awarded to the best poster presented by a student at the conference.

Additional Information

All oral and poster abstracts will be reviewed. Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 6 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation.

Planning your trip

We encourage delegates who are planning to attend events in person to arrange suitable travel and accommodation insurance, which should include cover for the postponement or cancellation of travel caused by regulations and guidelines relating to Covid-19. We also recommend considering flexible travel and accommodation booking options where possible.

In-person registration includes:
  • Attendance at all scientific sessions
  • Live interaction with delegates attending virtually
  • Attendance at the poster session and access to the virtual poster gallery
  • Refreshments throughout the meeting and lunch on all three days
  • Attendance at the poster drinks reception on 20 September 2023
  • Attendance at the conference dinner on 21 September 2023
  • Access to all journal paper pdf “pre-prints” before the meeting
  • Access to recordings of all scientific sessions post-event
  • ***A copy of the Faraday Discussion journal volume, issued approximately 5 months after the meeting, containing all papers presented at the meeting and accompanying discussion comments.Please note accommodation is not included in the registration fee.
All prices quoted do not include VAT, which is added during registration at the prevailing rate in the UK
Early bird Standard
RSC member £395 +VAT £445 +VAT
Non-member £495 +VAT £545 +VAT
Student RSC member £195 +VAT £245 +VAT
Student non-member £245 +VAT £295 +VAT
Accompanying person £125 +VAT £125 +VAT

Virtual registration includes:
  • ​Attendance at all scientific sessions via the Royal Society of Chemistry’s virtual conference platform
  • Live interaction with delegates attending in-person and other virtual delegates
  • Access to the virtual poster gallery and exhibitor/sponsor virtual rooms
  • Access to all journal paper pdf “pre-prints” before the meeting
  • Access to recordings of all scientific sessions post-event
  • ***A copy of the Faraday Discussion journal volume, issued approximately 5 months after the meeting, containing all papers presented at the meeting and accompanying discussion comments.
All prices quoted do not include VAT, which is added during registration at the prevailing rate in the UK
RSC member £125 +VAT
Non-member £175 +VAT
Student RSC member £55 +VAT
Student non-member £75 +VAT

Student Delegates 

In order to encourage undergraduate or postgraduate students to attend the Discussion, a reduced conference fee (to include a set of pre-prints but not the final Discussion Volume) is available. This fee applies to those undertaking a full time course for a recognised degree or a diploma at a university or equivalent institution.

A copy of the publication may be purchased at less than half price, only for orders placed at the meeting where an application form will be made available. 

Accompanying person

If you would like to bring a guest to the conference, this can be done during the registration process. There will be an additional charge which will include all lunches, refreshments and the conference dinner. The fee does not include attendance at any scientific sessions, journal paper pre-prints or the journal volume.


The Royal Society of Chemistry is keen to encourage and enable as many people as possible to attend our events, to benefit from the networking opportunities and the chance to hear talks from leaders in the field. If you would like to discuss accessibility, please contact us to discuss your requirements so that we can enable your attendance. Please refer also to our Grants for carers, for more information please see the ‘bursaries’ section on this page.
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Terms and Conditions for Events run by the Royal Society of Chemistry


Researcher Development Grant

If you are an RSC Member and you are one of the following
  • A PhD student; 
  • An academic researcher within 10 years of completion of a PhD (including postdoctoral researchers); 
  • Working in the industry within 10 years of leaving full-time education or; 
  • A technician within 10 years of leaving full-time education.
You can apply for up to £500 to support your participation in this event.

Please note it is not necessary to have confirmation of abstract acceptance before applying for a Researcher Development and Travel Grant and we encourage you to apply as early as possible. This Grant is open for 11 months of the year – January to November. 

Applicants must apply for activities occurring at least 2 months from the end of your application month. Please see the website for up-to-date information on eligibility, how to apply and submission deadlines.

Researcher Development and Travel Grants can be applied for in addition to Grants for Carers and Assistance Grants.

Grants for Carers

Grants for carers have been introduced following the Royal Society of Chemistry Breaking the barriers report where 78% of chemists working in UK academia felt that managing parenting and/or caring responsibilities has an impact on women’s retention and progression. This fund is not limited to women scientists and welcomes applications from anyone with caring responsibilities. These grants have been supported by The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemists’ Community Fund.

You can apply for up to a maximum of £1200/year to assist with additional financial costs that you incur for care usually provided by you whilst you attend a chemistry related meeting, conference or workshop or a professional development event.

Caring responsibilities are wide and varied, and so each application will be individually assessed, examples of applications that we will consider include:
  • paying for extra home help or nursing care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • additional medical/respite care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • travel expenses for a relative to travel with you to care for dependents whilst you attend a meeting or event
  • paying for extended hours with a care worker/childminder/play scheme to cover time when you will arrive home later than normal.
You are eligible to apply if: 
  • you are a chemist
  • you will incur additional caring expenses whilst attending a chemistry-related meeting, conference, event or workshop or a professional development event
  • you will use these funds to cover the cost of care that you usually provide 
  • you are based in the UK or Ireland or if not, you will normally have held three years RSC membership (past or current).

Useful links

Sponsorship & supporting organisations
A selection of sponsorship opportunities is available for companies who would like to promote their activities at the 2023 Faraday Discussion series.
There are opportunities available to become the Faraday Discussion series sponsor,  Research & Development partner or poster prize series sponsor as well as some individual meeting options. A sponsorship menu document is available to download from this page with more details and prices.
Please note that exhibition spaces are limited, spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
If you would like more information about sponsoring the 2023 Faraday Discussion series, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on Sponsorship Menu
The Royal Society of Chemistry

The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA, United Kingdom

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