One of the most promising and at the same time challenging ways to penetrate the riddle of the mesoscopic composition (ordered domains, zones) of water is to research the anomalies of water joined to nafion. As it is well known from countless experiments mostly performed by Prof. Pollack and his team nafion as well as many other hydrophilic substances (mostly gels, but even metals) form the a so called EZ layer of water. If we limit ourselves to nafion, the most proximal EZ water layer is electrically negative (~ 100 mV), going away from the nafion surface the voltage is continuously falling, reaching 0 mV somewhere at the end of EZ after which it begins with sharp increase in positive direction, reaching its maximum still close to the end of EZ and is then slowly falling. The vertical distribution of pH parallels this electrical occurrence, namely, according to certain researches (personal information) EZ water is alkaline, while the bulk water beyond it is acidic, with the strongest acidity close to EZ layer.
This is one of apparently biggest mysteries of nafion immersed in water. Namely, nafion is classified as a superacid (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superacid ), because of its SO3- ends combined with the fluorinated carbonic backbone. Since the sulfonated proton giving groups are on the surface of nafion one would expect a surplus of protons (actually hydronium ions) in the vicinity of nafion beads or a sheet immersed in water. However, as already said, the opposite is true: water enclosing nafion is alkaline and has a surplus of hydroxide anion (OH-). This represents a chemical paradox. It is true that acidity is achieved at some half millimeter distance from nafion, but this, again, is strange, since sulfonate groups are not present there an neither are they with higher distances (water can be acidic with pH ~ 3 even many cm far from the nafion surface). The fundamental question is what functions as a base in the close neighborhood to superacidic nafion and what as an acid at some distance from its surface?
We doubt there are any chemical grounds for this weird, chemically contradictory, phenomenon. Therefore we should seek the ground in physic (not even in physical chemistry as this would still be bound to chemistry), more precisely in quantum field theory. We should resort to theories of stable coherent states of water domains proposed by Preparata, Giudice etc. and recently elaborated by De Ninno, Yinnon etc. The main question to be solved is what forms the cationic counterpart to hydroxide anions in EZ layer and what functions as a conjugate base in bulk water beyond EZ, when nafion is exposed to very pure distilled water. From experiments by Elia et al. it stems that there could be no chemical impurities that would leak from nafion and yet there still exist the same electrochemical phenomenon. Therefore two different oppositely charged entities should form cationic and anionic counterparts in the two layers. We are groping into their real state and nature. The discovery of these “shadow” entities may revolutionize chemistry in its different ramifications and physical chemistry as well.