The structure, chemistry, and charge of interfaces between materials and aqueous fluids play a central role in determining properties and performance of numerous water systems. Sensors, membranes, sorbents, and heterogeneous catalysts almost uniformly rely on specific interactions between their surfaces and components dissolved or suspended in the water - and often the water molecules themselves - to detect and mitigate contaminants. Deleterious processes in these systems such as fouling, scaling (inorganic deposits), and corrosion are also governed by interfacial phenomena. Despite the importance of these interfaces, much remains to be learned about their multiscale interactions. Developing a deeper understanding of the molecular- and mesoscale phenomena at water/solid interfaces will be essential to driving innovation to address grand challenges in supplying sufficient fit-for-purpose water in the future. In this Review, we examine the current state of knowledge surrounding adsorption, reactivity, and transport in several key classes of water/solid interfaces, drawing on a synergistic combination of theory, simulation, and experiments, and provide an outlook for prioritizing strategic research directions.
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