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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 29, 2024

    The attenuation of Lyα photons by neutral hydrogen in the intergalactic medium (IGM) at z ≳ 5 continues to be a powerful probe for studying the epoch of reionization. Given a framework to estimate the intrinsic (true) Lyα emission of high-z sources, one can infer the ionization state of the IGM during reionization. In this work, we use the enlarged XQR-30 sample of 42 high-resolution and high signal-to-noise quasar spectra between $5.8\lesssim \, z\lesssim \, 6.6$ obtained with VLT/X-shooter to place constraints on the IGM neutral fraction. This is achieved using our existing Bayesian QSO reconstruction framework which accounts for uncertainties such as the: (i) posterior distribution of predicted intrinsic Lyα emission profiles (obtained via covariance matrix reconstruction of the Lyα and N v emission lines from unattenuated high-ionization emission line profiles; C iv, Si iv  + O iv], and C iii]) and (ii) distribution of ionized regions within the IGM using synthetic damping wing profiles drawn from a 1.63 Gpc3 reionization simulation. Following careful quality control, we used 23 of the 42 available QSOs to obtain constraints/limits on the IGM neutral fraction during the tail-end of reionization. Our median and 68th percentile constraints on the IGM neutral fraction are: $0.20\substack{+0.14 -0.12}$ and $0.29\substack{+0.14 -0.13}$ at z = 6.15 and 6.35. Further, we also report 68th percentile upper limits of $\bar{x}_{\mathrm{H\, {\small I}}{}} \lt 0.21$, 0.20, 0.21, and 0.18 at z = 5.8, 5.95, 6.05, and 6.55. These results imply reionization is still ongoing at $5.8\lesssim \, z\lesssim \, 6.55$, consistent with previous results from XQR-30 (dark fraction and Lyα forest) along with other observational probes considered in the literature.

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  3. Many mass spectrometry methods using various ionization sources provide bulk composition of airborne particles, but little is known about the surface species that play a major role in determining their physicochemical properties that impact air quality, climate, and health. The present work shows that the composition of surface layers of atmospherically relevant submicron organic particles can be probed without the use of an external ionization source. Solid dicarboxylic acid particles are used as models, with glutaric acid being the most efficient at generating ions. Coating with small diacids or products from α-pinene ozonolysis demonstrates that ions are ejected from the surface, providing surface molecular characterization of organic particles on the fly. This unique approach provides a path forward for elucidating the role of the surface in determining chemical and physical properties of particles, including heterogeneous reactions, particle growth, water uptake, and interactions with biological systems. 
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  4. null (Ed.)