Tracking Changes in Absorptivity, Stiffness, and Organic Chemical Composition in Laboratory Generated HULIS SOA using Atomic Force Microscopy and X-ray Microscopy

Friday, 19 December 2014
Lelia N Hawkins, Amanda Lemire and Weimeng Kong, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA, United States
Light absorbing organic compounds are among the many products of aqueous phase secondary organic aerosol formation. Once formed, these compounds can alter the optical and material properties of SOA in ways that impact their ability to scatter and absorb solar radiation, deliquesce and evaporate quickly during cloud cycling, and react with gas phase species such as oxidants. To quantify these effects, we have characterized the changes in UV-visible absorption, stiffness, and particle shape that occur when aqueous SOA is exposed to repeated wet-dry cycles and photooxidation. Material properties were measured with Atomic Force Microscopy of atomized laboratory generated SOA; this material was created by combining glyoxal, methylglyoxal, or glycolaldehyde with ammonium sulfate, glycine, or methylamine in solution and either spray drying or evaporating the bulk solution. In addition to optical and material properties, changes in organic functional groups were tracked using scanning transmission x-ray microscopy (STXM) of the near carbon edge x-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS). Photooxidation experiments of the same aqueous SOA revealed concomitant changes in the organic functional groups and light absorption spectra, along with measurable changes in particle stiffness.