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Published March 16, 2006 | public
Journal Article

Kinetics of NO and NO_2 Evolution from Illuminated Frozen Nitrate Solutions


The release of NO and NO_2 from frozen aqueous NaNO_3 irradiated at 313 nm was studied using time-resolved spectroscopic techniques. The kinetic behavior of NO and NO_2 signals during on-and-off illumination cycles confirms that NO_2 is a primary photoproduct evolving from the outermost ice layers and reveals that NO is a secondary species generated deeper in the ice, whence it eventually emerges due to its inertness and larger diffusivity. NO is shown to be more weakly held than NO_2 by ice in thermal desorption experiments on preirradiated samples. The partial control of gaseous emissions by mass transfer, and hence by the morphology and metamorphisms of polycrystalline ice, is established by (1) the nonmonotonic temperature dependence of NO and NO_2 signals upon stepwise warming under continuous illumination, (2) the fact that the NO, NO_2 or NO_x (NO_x ≡ NO + NO_2) amounts released in bright thermograms performed under various heating ramps fail to scale with photon dose, due to irreversible losses in the adsorbed state. Because present NO/NO_2 ratios are up to 10-fold smaller than those determined over sunlit snowpacks, we infer that the immediate precursors to NO mostly absorb at λ > λ_(max) (NO_3^-) ∼ 302 nm.

Additional Information

© 2006 American Chemical Society. Received: September 6, 2005; In Final Form: January 24, 2006. C.S.B. acknowledges support from the Betty and Gordon Moore Foundation. This work was financed by NSF grants ATM-0228140 (Caltech) and ATM-0138669 (Berkeley).

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