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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 26, 2024
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  4. Gas-phase oxygenated organic molecules (OOMs) can contribute significantly to both atmospheric new particle growth and secondary organic aerosol formation. Precursor apportionment of atmospheric OOMs connects them with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Since atmospheric OOMs are often highly functionalized products of multistep reactions, it is challenging to reveal the complete mapping relationships between OOMs and their precursors. In this study, we demonstrate that the machine learning method is useful in attributing atmospheric OOMs to their precursors using several chemical indicators, such as O/C ratio and H/C ratio. The model is trained and tested using data acquired in controlled laboratory experiments, covering the oxidation products of four main types of VOCs (isoprene, monoterpenes, aliphatics, and aromatics). Then, the model is used for analyzing atmospheric OOMs measured in both urban Beijing and a boreal forest environment in southern Finland. The results suggest that atmospheric OOMs in these two environments can be reasonably assigned to their precursors. Beijing is an anthropogenic VOC dominated environment with ∼64% aromatic and aliphatic OOMs, and the other boreal forested area has ∼76% monoterpene OOMs. This pilot study shows that machine learning can be a promising tool in atmospheric chemistry for connecting the dots. 
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  6. Abstract The interaction between nitrogen monoxide (NO) and organic peroxy radicals (RO 2 ) greatly impacts the formation of highly oxygenated organic molecules (HOM), the key precursors of secondary organic aerosols. It has been thought that HOM production can be significantly suppressed by NO even at low concentrations. Here, we perform dedicated experiments focusing on HOM formation from monoterpenes at low NO concentrations (0 – 82 pptv). We demonstrate that such low NO can enhance HOM production by modulating the RO 2 loss and favoring the formation of alkoxy radicals that can continue to autoxidize through isomerization. These insights suggest that HOM yields from typical boreal forest emissions can vary between 2.5%-6.5%, and HOM formation will not be completely inhibited even at high NO concentrations. Our findings challenge the notion that NO monotonically reduces HOM yields by extending the knowledge of RO 2 -NO interactions to the low-NO regime. This represents a major advance towards an accurate assessment of HOM budgets, especially in low-NO environments, which prevails in the pre-industrial atmosphere, pristine areas, and the upper boundary layer. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024