New Photosensitized Processes at Aerosol and Ocean Surfaces
Abstract:From a few years now, there is a growing body of evidence that photoinduced processes could be of great importance for the tropospheric chemistry. Here, we would like to present two additional outcomes of this new area of research, firstly the photosensitized direct VOC uptake by aerosols and, secondly, the photoinduced chemical formation of unsaturated VOC from marine microlayer proxy.
It was recently shown that the chemistry of glyoxal toward ammonium ions into droplets and wet aerosols leads to the formation of light-absorbing compounds. Among them, we found that imidazole-2-carboxaldehyde (IC) acts as a photosensitizer and is able to initiate the growth of organic aerosols via the uptake of VOC, such as limonene. Given its potential importance, the mechanism of this photoinduced uptake was investigated thanks to aerosol flow tube experiments and UPLC-ESI-HRMS analysis. Results reveal hydrogen abstraction on the VOC molecule by the triplet state of IC leading to the VOC oxidation without any traditional oxidant.
As well as aerosol, the sea-surface microlayer, known to be enriched in light-absorbing organics, is largely impacted by photochemical processes. Recent studies have pointed out for example the role of photosentitized processes in the loss of NO2 and ozone at water surfaces containing photoactive compounds such as chlorophyll. In order to go further, we worked from sea-surface microlayer proxy containing humic acids as photoactive material and organic acids as surfactants. Beside oxidation processes, we monitored by high resolution PTR-MS the release in the gas phase of unsaturated compounds, including C5 dienes (isoprene ?). A strong correlation between the measured surface tension and the C5 diene concentration in the gas phase was evidenced, clearly pointing toward an interfacial process.
This contribution will highlight the similarities between both systems and will attempt to present a general chemical scheme for photosensitized chemistry at interfaces.