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Liquid-liquid phase separation and morphology of internally mixed dicarboxylic acids/ammonium sulfate/water particles

Song, M. and Marcolli, C. and Krieger, U. K. and Zuend, A. and Peter, T. (2012) Liquid-liquid phase separation and morphology of internally mixed dicarboxylic acids/ammonium sulfate/water particles. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 12 (5). pp. 2691-2712. ISSN 1680-7316. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20120418-130701882

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Abstract

Knowledge of the physical state and morphology of internally mixed organic/inorganic aerosol particles is still largely uncertain. To obtain more detailed information on liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) and morphology of the particles, we investigated complex mixtures of atmospherically relevant dicarboxylic acids containing 5, 6, and 7 carbon atoms (C5, C6 and C7) having oxygen-to-carbon atomic ratios (O:C) of 0.80, 0.67, and 0.57, respectively, mixed with ammonium sulfate (AS). With micrometer-sized particles of C5/AS/H_2O, C6/AS/H_2O and C7/AS/H_2O as model systems deposited on a hydrophobically coated substrate, laboratory experiments were conducted for various organic-to-inorganic dry mass ratios (OIR) using optical microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. When exposed to cycles of relative humidity (RH), each system showed significantly different phase transitions. While the C5/AS/H_2O particles showed no LLPS with OIR = 2:1, 1:1 and 1:4 down to 20% RH, the C6/AS/H_2O and C7/AS/H_2O particles exhibit LLPS upon drying at RH 50 to 85% and ~90%, respectively, via spinodal decomposition, growth of a second phase from the particle surface or nucleation-and-growth mechanisms depending on the OIR. This suggests that LLPS commonly occurs within the range of O:C < 0.7 in tropospheric organic/inorganic aerosols. To support the comparison and interpretation of the experimentally observed phase transitions, thermodynamic equilibrium calculations were performed with the AIOMFAC model. For the C7/AS/H_2O and C6/AS/H_2O systems, the calculated phase diagrams agree well with the observations while for the C5/AS/H_2O system LLPS is predicted by the model at RH below 60% and higher AS concentration, but was not observed in the experiments. Both core-shell structures and partially engulfed structures were observed for the investigated particles, suggesting that such morphologies might also exist in tropospheric aerosols.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/acp-12-2691-2012DOIArticle
http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/12/2691/2012/acp-12-2691-2012.htmlPublisherArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Zuend, A.0000-0003-3101-8521
Additional Information:© 2012 Author(s). This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Published by Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union. Received: 11 October 2011. Published in Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.: 28 October 2011. Revised: 28 February 2012. Accepted: 6 March 2012. Published: 13 March 2012. This work was supported by the Swiss National Foundation Project No. 200020-125151 and the Competence Center Environment and Sustainability of the ETH Domain (CCES) project IMBALANCE. We thank Uwe Weers and Edwin Hausammann for technical support. M. Song gives special thanks to C. Chou for the scientific discussion. Edited by: N. M. Donahue
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Swiss National Foundation (SNF)200020-125151
Competence Center Environment and Sustainability of the ETH Domain (CCES)Project IMBALANCE
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120418-130701882
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20120418-130701882
Official Citation:Song, M., Marcolli, C., Krieger, U. K., Zuend, A., and Peter, T.: Liquid-liquid phase separation and morphology of internally mixed dicarboxylic acids/ammonium sulfate/water particles, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 2691-2712, doi:10.5194/acp-12-2691-2012, 2012.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:30170
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:18 Apr 2012 20:25
Last Modified:06 Apr 2017 20:17

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