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Title: Complex refractive indices in the near-ultraviolet spectral region of biogenic secondary organic aerosol aged with ammonia

Atmospheric absorption by brown carbon aerosol may play an important role in global radiative forcing. Brown carbon arises from both primary and secondary sources, but the mechanisms and reactions for the latter are highly uncertain. One proposed mechanism is the reaction of ammonia or amino acids with carbonyl products in secondary organic aerosol (SOA). We generated SOA in situ by reacting biogenic alkenes (α-pinene, limonene, and α-humulene) with excess ozone, humidifying the resulting aerosol, and reacting the humidified aerosol with gaseous ammonia. We determined the complex refractive indices (RI) in the 360 – 420 nm range for these aerosols using broadband cavity enhanced spectroscopy (BBCES). The average real part (n) of the measured spectral range of the NH3-aged α-pinene SOA increased from n = 1.50 (±0.01) for the unreacted SOA to n = 1.57 (± 0.01) after a 1.5h exposure to 1.9 ppm NH3; whereas,the imaginary component (k) remained below k < 0.001 (± 0.002). For the limonene and α-humulene SOA the real part did not change significantly, and we observed a small change in the imaginary component of the RI. The imaginary component increased from k = 0.0 to an average k= 0.029 (± 0.021) for α-humulene SOA, andmore » from k < 0.001 (± 0.002) to an average k = 0.032 (±0.019) for limonene SOA after a 1.5 h exposure to 1.3 and 1.9 ppm of NH3, respectively. Collected filter samples of the aged and unreacted α-pinene SOA and limonene SOA were analyzed off-line with nanospray desorption electrospray ionization high resolution mass spectrometry (nano-DESI/HR-MS), and in-situ with a Time-of-Fligh Aerosol Mass Spectrometer, confirming that the SOA reacted and that various nitrogen-containing reaction products formed. If we assume that NH3 aging reactions scale linearly with time and concentration, then a 1.5 h reaction with 1 ppm NH3 in the laboratory is equivalent to 24 h reaction with 63 ppbv NH3, indicating that the observed aerosol absorption will be limited to atmospheric regions with high NH3 concentrations.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
47915; 400402000
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. PCCP, 16(22):10629-10642
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Secondary organic aerosol; optical properties; broadband wavelength dependence; 20 refractive index; absorption; scattering; cavity enhanced spectroscopy; brown carbon; ammonia; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory