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Title: Low viscosity liquid bridges: Stretching of liquid bridges immersed in a higher viscosity liquid
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National Science Foundation
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  1. null (Ed.)
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    Molecular composition, viscosity, and liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS) were investigated for secondary organic aerosol (SOA) derived from synthetic mixtures of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) representing emission profiles for Scots pine trees under healthy and aphid-herbivory stress conditions. Model “healthy plant SOA” and “stressed plant SOA” were generated in a 5 m 3 environmental smog chamber by photooxidation of the mixtures at 50% relative humidity (RH). SOA from photooxidation of α-pinene was also prepared for comparison. Molecular composition was determined with high resolution mass spectrometry, viscosity was determined with the poke-flow technique, and liquid–liquid phase separation was investigated with optical microscopy. The stressed plant SOA had increased abundance of higher molecular weight species, reflecting a greater fraction of sesquiterpenes in the stressed VOC mixture compared to the healthy plant VOC mixture. LLPS occurred in both the healthy and stressed plant SOA; however, stressed plant SOA exhibited phase separation over a broader humidity range than healthy plant SOA, with LLPS persisting down to 23 ± 11% RH. At RH ≤25%, both stressed and healthy plant SOA viscosity exceeded 10 8 Pa s, a value similar to that of tar pitch. At 40% and 50% RH, stressed plant SOA had the highest viscosity, followed by healthy plant SOA and then α-pinene SOA in descending order. The observed peak abundances in the mass spectra were also used to estimate the SOA viscosity as a function of RH and volatility. The predicted viscosity of the healthy plant SOA was lower than that of the stressed plant SOA driven by both the higher glass transition temperatures and lower hygroscopicity of the organic molecules making up stressed plant SOA. These findings suggest that plant stress influences the physicochemical properties of biogenic SOA. Furthermore, a complex mixture of VOCs resulted in a higher SOA viscosity compared to SOA generated from α-pinene alone at ≥25% RH, highlighting the importance of studying properties of SOA generated from more realistic multi-component VOC mixtures. 
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  3. Abstract. Information on liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS) and viscosity (ordiffusion) within secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is needed to improvepredictions of particle size, mass, reactivity, and cloud nucleatingproperties in the atmosphere. Here we report on LLPS and viscosities withinSOA generated by the photooxidation of diesel fuel vapors. Diesel fuelcontains a wide range of volatile organic compounds, and SOA generated bythe photooxidation of diesel fuel vapors may be a good proxy for SOA fromanthropogenic emissions. In our experiments, LLPS occurred over the relativehumidity (RH) range of ∼70 % to ∼100 %,resulting in an organic-rich outer phase and a water-rich inner phase. Theseresults may have implications for predicting the cloud nucleating propertiesof anthropogenic SOA since the presence of an organic-rich outer phase athigh-RH values can lower the supersaturation with respect to water requiredfor cloud droplet formation. At ≤10 % RH, the viscosity was ≥1×108 Pa s, which corresponds to roughly the viscosity of tarpitch. At 38 %–50 % RH, the viscosity was in the range of 1×108 to 3×105 Pa s. These measured viscosities areconsistent with predictions based on oxygen to carbon elemental ratio (O:C)and molar mass as well as predictions based on the number of carbon,hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Based on the measured viscosities and theStokes–Einstein relation, at ≤10 % RH diffusion coefficients oforganics within diesel fuel SOA is ≤5.4×10-17 cm2 s−1 and the mixing time of organics within 200 nm diesel fuel SOAparticles (τmixing) is 50 h. These small diffusion coefficientsand large mixing times may be important in laboratory experiments, where SOAis often generated and studied using low-RH conditions and on timescales ofminutes to hours. At 38 %–50 % RH, the calculated organic diffusioncoefficients are in the range of 5.4×10-17 to 1.8×10-13 cm2 s−1 and calculated τmixing values arein the range of ∼0.01 h to ∼50 h. These valuesprovide important constraints for the physicochemical properties ofanthropogenic SOA. 
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