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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Studying Interfacial Dark Reactions of Glyoxal and Hydrogen Peroxide Using Vacuum Ultraviolet Single Photon Ionization Mass Spectrometry


Aqueous secondary organic aerosol (aqSOA) formation from volatile and semivolatile organic compounds at the air-liquid interface is considered as an important source of fine particles in the atmosphere. However, due to the lack of in situ detecting techniques, the detailed interfacial reaction mechanism and dynamics still remain uncertain. In this study, synchrotron-based vacuum ultraviolet single-photon ionization mass spectrometry (VUV SPI-MS) was coupled with the System for Analysis at the Liquid Vacuum Interface (SALVI) to investigate glyoxal dark oxidation products at the aqueous surface. Mass spectral analysis and determination of appearance energies (AEs) suggest that the main products of glyoxal dark interfacial aging are carboxylic acid related oligomers. Furthermore, the VUV SPI-MS results were compared and validated against those of in situ liquid time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS). The reaction mechanisms of the dark glyoxal interfacial oxidation, obtained using two different approaches, indicate that differences in ionization and instrument operation principles could contribute to their abilities to detect different oligomers. Therefore, the mechanistic differences revealed between the VUV SPI-MS and ToF-SIMS indicate that more in situ and real-time techniques are needed to investigate the contribution of the air-liquid interfacial reactions leading to aqSOA formation.

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