Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) of Atmospheric Particles and Single Particle pH from Raman Microspectroscopy: Tools to Provide Greater Chemical Detail about Secondary Organic Aerosol

Thursday, 17 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Andrew P Ault, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI, United States
The ability to probe the chemical complexity and physicochemical properties of individual organic aerosols and organic-inorganic mixtures is needed to improve our understanding of their formation and evolution in the atmosphere, as well as their impacts on climate. This work will describe two new methods being developed to probe individual particles with Raman microspectroscopy: SERS provides unprecedented sensitivity regarding the functional groups present and single particle pH provide a direct probe of atmospheric particle acidity Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) generates enhanced Raman signal and has been applied to atmospheric aerosol particles and model systems in the laboratory, leading to enhancements of 101-102. This has allowed rich vibrational spectra to be observed for submicron particles, with detailed functional group and phase state information. Single particle pH is been developed to allow direct observation of individual particle pH through a combination of a spectral approach and an independent method based on changes in diameter at different relative humidities. Together these provide an independent check and an important improvement on indirect methods to allow detailed chemical studies. Together, the new SERS and single particle pH methods have the potential to improve our understanding of atmospheric organic aerosol mechanisms and evolution in the atmosphere.