Ultraviolet Absorption by Secondary Organic Aerosols
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Secondary organic aerosols (SOA) are typically formed in the atmosphere by the condensation of a myriad of intermediates from the photo-oxidation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Many of these partly oxidized molecules have functional groups (chromophores) that absorb at the ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths available in the troposphere (λ ≳ 290 nm). We used the explicit chemical model GECKO-A (Generator of Explicit Chemistry and Kinetics for Organics in the Atmosphere) to estimate UV absorption cross sections for the gaseous and particulate components of SOA from different precursors (biogenic and anthropogenic) and formed in different environments (low and high NOx, day and night). Model predictions are evaluated with laboratory and field measurements of SOA UV optical properties (esp. mass absorption coefficients and single scattering albedo), and implications are presented for surface UV radiation trends, urban actinic flux modification, and SOA lifetimes.