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Title: Molecular Selectivity of Brown Carbon Chromophores

Complementary methods of high-resolution mass spectrometry and micro-spectroscopy were utilized for molecular analysis of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) generated from ozonolysis of two structural monoterpene isomers: D-limonene (LSOA) and a-pinene (PSOA). Laboratory simulated aging of LSOA and PSOA, through conversion of carbonyls into imines mediated by NH3 vapors in humid air, resulted in selective browning of the LSOA sample, while the PSOA sample remained white. Comparative analysis of the reaction products in the aged LSOA and PSOA samples provided insights into chemistry relevant to formation of brown carbon chromophores. A significant fraction of carbonyl-imine conversion products with identical molecular formulas were detected in both samples. This reflects the high level of similarity in the molecular composition of these two closely related SOA materials. Several highly conjugated products were detected exclusively in the brown LSOA sample and were identified as potential chromophores responsible for the observed color change. The majority of the unique products in the aged LSOA sample with the highest number of double bonds contain two nitrogen atoms. We conclude that chromophores characteristic of the carbonyl- imine chemistry in LSOA are highly conjugated oligomers of secondary imines (Schiff bases) present at relatively low concentrations. Formation of this type ofmore » conjugated compounds in PSOA is hindered by the structural rigidity of the a-pinene oxidation products. Our results suggest that the overall light-absorbing properties of SOA may be determined by trace amounts of strong brown carbon chromophores.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
47915; 44638; KC0302020; 400402000
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Science & Technology, 48(20):12047-12055
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory