skip to main content

Title: Nucleation pathways in barium silicate glasses
Abstract Nucleation is generally viewed as a structural fluctuation that passes a critical size to eventually become a stable emerging new phase. However, this concept leaves out many details, such as changes in cluster composition and competing pathways to the new phase. In this work, both experimental and computer modeling studies are used to understand the cluster composition and pathways. Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics approaches are used to analyze the thermodynamic and kinetic contributions to the nucleation landscape in barium silicate glasses. Experimental techniques examine the resulting polycrystals that form. Both the modeling and experimental data indicate that a silica rich core plays a dominant role in the nucleation process.
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Data from both laboratory studies and atmospheric measurements are used to develop an empirical parameterization for the immersion freezing activity of natural mineral dust particles. Measurements made with the Colorado State University (CSU) continuous flow diffusion chamber (CFDC) when processing mineral dust aerosols at a nominal 105% relative humidity with respect to water (RHw) are taken as a measure of the immersion freezing nucleation activity of particles. Ice active frozen fractions vs. temperature for dusts representative of Saharan and Asian desert sources were consistent with similar measurements in atmospheric dust plumes for a limited set of comparisons available. The parameterization developed follows the form of one suggested previously for atmospheric particles of non-specific composition in quantifying ice nucleating particle concentrations as functions of temperature and the total number concentration of particles larger than 0.5 μm diameter. Such an approach does not explicitly account for surface area and time dependencies for ice nucleation, but sufficiently encapsulates the activation properties for potential use in regional and global modeling simulations, and possible application in developing remote sensing retrievals for ice nucleating particles. A calibration factor is introduced to account for the apparent underestimate (by approximately 3, on average) of the immersion freezing fractionmore »of mineral dust particles for CSU CFDC data processed at an RHw of 105% vs. maximum fractions active at higher RHw. Instrumental factors that affect activation behavior vs. RHw in CFDC instruments remain to be fully explored in future studies. Nevertheless, the use of this calibration factor is supported by comparison to ice activation data obtained for the same aerosols from Aerosol Interactions and Dynamics of the Atmosphere (AIDA) expansion chamber cloud parcel experiments. Further comparison of the new parameterization, including calibration correction, to predictions of the immersion freezing surface active site density parameterization for mineral dust particles, developed separately from AIDA experimental data alone, shows excellent agreement for data collected in a descent through a Saharan aerosol layer. These studies support the utility of laboratory measurements to obtain atmospherically relevant data on the ice nucleation properties of dust and other particle types, and suggest the suitability of considering all mineral dust as a single type of ice nucleating particle as a useful first-order approximation in numerical modeling investigations.« less
  2. Abstract. Highly oxygenated organic molecules (HOMs) contributesubstantially to the formation and growth of atmospheric aerosol particles,which affect air quality, human health and Earth's climate. HOMs are formedby rapid, gas-phase autoxidation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) suchas α-pinene, the most abundant monoterpene in the atmosphere. Due totheir abundance and low volatility, HOMs can play an important role innew-particle formation (NPF) and the early growth of atmospheric aerosols,even without any further assistance of other low-volatility compounds suchas sulfuric acid. Both the autoxidation reaction forming HOMs and theirNPF rates are expected to be strongly dependent ontemperature. However, experimental data on both effects are limited.Dedicated experiments were performed at the CLOUD (Cosmics Leaving OUtdoorDroplets) chamber at CERN to address this question. In this study, we showthat a decrease in temperature (from +25 to −50 ∘C) results ina reduced HOM yield and reduced oxidation state of the products, whereas theNPF rates (J1.7 nm) increase substantially.Measurements with two different chemical ionization mass spectrometers(using nitrate and protonated water as reagent ion, respectively) providethe molecular composition of the gaseous oxidation products, and atwo-dimensional volatility basis set (2D VBS) model provides their volatilitydistribution. The HOM yield decreases with temperature from 6.2 % at 25 ∘C to 0.7 % at −50 ∘C. However, there is a strongreductionmore »of the saturation vapor pressure of each oxidation state as thetemperature is reduced. Overall, the reduction in volatility withtemperature leads to an increase in the nucleation rates by up to 3orders of magnitude at −50 ∘C compared with 25 ∘C. Inaddition, the enhancement of the nucleation rates by ions decreases withdecreasing temperature, since the neutral molecular clusters have increasedstability against evaporation. The resulting data quantify how the interplaybetween the temperature-dependent oxidation pathways and the associatedvapor pressures affect biogenic NPF at the molecularlevel. Our measurements, therefore, improve our understanding of purebiogenic NPF for a wide range of tropospherictemperatures and precursor concentrations.« less
  3. Interfaces, the boundary that separates two or more chemical compositions and/or phases of matter, alters basic chemical and physical properties including the thermodynamics of selectivity, transition states, and pathways of chemical reactions, nucleation events and phase growth, and kinetic barriers and mechanisms for mass transport and heat transport. While progress has been made in advancing more interface-sensitive experimental approaches, their interpretation requires new theoretical methods and models that in turn can further elaborate on the microscopic physics that make interfacial chemistry so unique compared to the bulk phase. In this review, we describe some of the most recent theoretical efforts in modeling interfaces, and what has been learned about the transport and chemical transformations that occur at the air–liquid and solid–liquid interfaces.
  4. Abstract. Biogenic organic precursors play an important role inatmospheric new particle formation (NPF). One of the major precursor speciesis α-pinene, which upon oxidation can form a suite of productscovering a wide range of volatilities. Highly oxygenated organic molecules(HOMs) comprise a fraction of the oxidation products formed. While it isknown that HOMs contribute to secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation,including NPF, they have not been well studied in newly formed particles dueto their very low mass concentrations. Here we present gas- and particle-phase chemical composition data from experimental studies of α-pinene oxidation, including in the presence of isoprene, at temperatures(−50 and −30 ∘C) and relativehumidities (20 % and 60 %) relevant in the upper free troposphere. Themeasurements took place at the CERN Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets (CLOUD)chamber. The particle chemical composition was analyzed by a thermaldesorption differential mobility analyzer (TD-DMA) coupled to a nitratechemical ionization–atmospheric pressure interface–time-of-flight(CI-APi-TOF) mass spectrometer. CI-APi-TOF was used for particle- and gas-phase measurements, applying the same ionization and detection scheme. Ourmeasurements revealed the presence of C8−10 monomers and C18−20dimers as the major compounds in the particles (diameter up to∼ 100 nm). Particularly, for the system with isoprene added,C5 (C5H10O5−7) and C15 compounds(C15H24O5−10) were detected. This observation is consistentwith the previously observed formation ofmore »such compounds in the gas phase. However, although the C5 and C15 compounds do not easily nucleate,our measurements indicate that they can still contribute to the particlegrowth at free tropospheric conditions. For the experiments reported here,most likely isoprene oxidation products enhance the growth of particleslarger than 15 nm. Additionally, we report on the nucleation rates measuredat 1.7 nm (J1.7 nm) and compared with previous studies, we found lowerJ1.7 nm values, very likely due to the higher α-pinene andozone mixing ratios used in the present study.« less
  5. null (Ed.)
    Soft matter that undergoes programmed macroscopic responses to molecular analytes has potential utility in a range of health and safety-related contexts. In this study, we report the design of a nematic liquid crystal (LC) composition that forms through dimerization of carboxylic acids and responds to the presence of vapors of organoamines by undergoing a visually distinct phase transition to an isotropic phase. Specifically, we screened mixtures of two carboxylic acids, 4-butylbenzoic acid and trans-4-pentylcyclohexanecarboxylic acid, and found select compositions that exhibited a nematic phase from 30.6 to 111.7 °C during heating and 110.6 to 3.1 °C during cooling. The metastable nematic phase formed at ambient temperatures was found to be long-lived (>5 days), thus enabling the use of the LC as a chemoresponsive optical material. By comparing experimental infrared (IR) spectra of the LC phase with vibrational frequencies calculated using density functional theory (DFT), we show that it is possible to distinguish between the presence of monomers, homodimers and heterodimers in the mixture, leading us to conclude that a one-to-one heterodimer is the dominant species within this LC composition. Further support for this conclusion is obtained by using differential scanning calorimetry. Exposure of the LC to 12 ppm triethylamine (TEA)more »triggers a phase transition to an isotropic phase, which we show by IR spectroscopy to be driven by an acid-base reaction, leading to the formation of ammonium carboxylate salts. We characterized the dynamics of the phase transition and found that it proceeds via a characteristic spatiotemporal pathway involving the nucleation, growth, and coalescence of isotropic domains, thus amplifying the atomic-scale acid-base reaction into an information-rich optical output. In contrast to TEA, we determined via both experiment and computation that neither hydrogen bonding donor or acceptor molecules, such as water, dimethyl methylphosphonate, ethylene oxide or formaldehyde, disrupt the heterodimers formed in the LC, hinting that the phase transition (including spatial-temporal characteristics of the pathway) induced in this class of hydrogen bonded LC may offer the basis of a facile and chemically selective way of reporting the presence of volatile amines. This proposal is supported by exploratory experiments in which we show that it is possible to trigger a phase transition in the LC by exposure to volatile amines emitted from rotting fish. Overall, these results provide new principles for the design of chemoresponsive soft matter based on hydrogen bonded LCs that may find use as the basis of low-cost visual indicators of chemical environments.« less