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Enhanced surface photochemistry in chloride-nitrate ion mixtures.

  • Author(s): Wingen, Lisa M
  • Moskun, Amy C
  • Johnson, Stanley N
  • Thomas, Jennie L
  • Roeselová, Martina
  • Tobias, Douglas J
  • Kleinman, Michael T
  • Finlayson-Pitts, Barbara J
  • et al.

Heterogeneous reactions of sea salt aerosol with various oxides of nitrogen lead to replacement of chloride ion by nitrate ion. Studies of the photochemistry of a model system were carried out using deliquesced mixtures of NaCl and NaNO3 on a Teflon substrate. Varying molar ratios of NaCl to NaNO3 (1 : 9 Cl- : NO3-, 1 : 1 Cl- : NO3-, 3 : 1 Cl- : NO3-, 9 : 1 Cl- : NO3-) and NaNO3 at the same total concentration were irradiated in air at 299 +/- 3 K and at a relative humidity of 75 +/- 8% using broadband UVB light (270-380 nm). Gaseous NO2 production was measured as a function of time using a chemiluminescence NO(y) detector. Surprisingly, an enhanced yield of NO2 was observed as the chloride to nitrate ratio increased. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations show that as the Cl- : NO3- ratio increases, the nitrate ions are drawn closer to the interface due to the existence of a double layer of interfacial Cl- and subsurface Na+. This leads to a decreased solvent cage effect when the nitrate ion photodissociates to NO2+O*-, increasing the effective quantum yield and hence the production of gaseous NO2. The implications of enhanced NO2 and likely OH production as sea salt aerosols become processed in the atmosphere are discussed.

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