Structure and dynamics of monohydroxy alcohols-Milestones towards their microscopic understanding, 100 years after Debye

Roland Böhmer, Catalin Gainaru, Ranko Richert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

111 Scopus citations


In 1913 Debye devised a relaxation model for application to the dielectric properties of water and alcohols. These hydrogen-bonded liquids continue to be studied extensively because they are vital for biophysical processes, of fundamental importance as solvents in industrial processes, and in every-day use. Nevertheless, the way to a microscopic understanding of their properties has been beset with apparently conflicting observations and conceptual difficulties. Much of this remains true for water, but fortunately the situation for monohydroxy alcohols is different. Here, with the experimental progress witnessed in recent years and with the growing recognition of the importance of specific supramolecular structures, a coherent microscopic understanding of the structure and dynamics of these hydrogen-bonded liquids is within reach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-195
Number of pages71
JournalPhysics Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014



  • Monohydroxy alcohols
  • Review
  • Structure and dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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