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  1. How secondary aerosols form is critical as aerosols' impact on Earth's climate is one of the main sources of uncertainty for understanding global warming. The beginning stages for formation of prenucleation complexes, that lead to larger aerosols, are difficult to decipher experimentally. We present a computational chemistry study of the interactions between three different acid molecules and two different bases. By combining a comprehensive search routine covering many thousands of configurations at the semiempirical level with high level quantum chemical calculations of approximately 1000 clusters for every possible combination of clusters containing a sulfuric acid molecule, a formic acid molecule, a nitric acid molecule, an ammonia molecule, a dimethylamine molecule, and 0–5 water molecules, we have completed an exhaustive search of the DLPNO-CCSD(T)/CBS//ωB97X-D/6-31++G** Gibbs free energy surface for this system. We find that the detailed geometries of each minimum free energy cluster are often more important than traditional acid or base strength. Addition of a water molecule to a dry cluster can enhance stabilization, and we find that the (SA)(NA)(A)(DMA)(W) cluster has special stability. Equilibrium calculations of SA, FA, NA, A, DMA, and water using our quantum chemical Δ G ° values for cluster formation and realistic estimates of themore »concentrations of these monomers in the atmosphere reveals that nitric acid can drive early stages of particle formation just as efficiently as sulfuric acid. Our results lead us to believe that particle formation in the atmosphere results from the combination of many different molecules that are able to form highly stable complexes with acid molecules such as SA, NA, and FA.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 3, 2023
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  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 18, 2023
  4. A series of complexes with low-energy Fe II to Ti IV metal-to-metal charge-transfer (MMCT) transitions, Cp 2 Ti(C 2 Fc) 2 , Cp* 2 Ti(C 2 Fc) 2 , and MeOOC Cp 2 Ti(C 2 Fc) 2 , was investigated using solvatochromism and resonance Raman spectroscopy (RRS) augmented with time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) calculations in order to interrogate the nature of the CT transitions. Computational models were benchmarked against the experimental UV-Vis spectra and B3LYP/6-31G(d) was found to most faithfully represent the spectra. The energy of the MMCT transition was measured in 15 different solvents and a multivariate fit to the Catalán solvent parameters – solvent polarizability (SP), solvent dipolarity (SdP), solvent basicity (SB), and solvent acidity (SA) – was performed. The effect of SP indicates a greater degree of electron delocalization in the excited state (ES) than the ground state (GS). The small negative solvatochromism with respect to SdP indicates a smaller dipole moment in the ES than the GS. The effect of SB is consistent with charge-transfer to Ti. Upon excitation into the MMCT absorption band, the RRS data show enhancement of the alkyne stretching modes and of the out-of-plane bending modes of the cyclopentadienyl ring connectedmore »to Fe and the alkyne bridge. This is consistent with changes in the oxidation states of Ti and Fe, respectively. The higher-energy transitions (350–450 nm) show enhancement of vibrational modes consistent with ethnylcyclopentadienyl to Ti ligand-to-metal charge transfer (LMCT). The RRS data is consistent with the TDDFT predicted character of these transitions. TDDFT suggests that the lowest-energy transition in Cp 2 Ti(C 2 Fc) 2 CuI, where CuI is coordinated between the alkynes, retains its Fe II to Ti IV MMCT character, in agreement with the RRS data, but that the lowest-energy transitions have significant CuI to Ti character. For Cp 2 Ti(C 2 Fc) 2 CuI, excitation into the low-energy MMCT absorption band results in selective enhancement of the symmetric alkynyl stretching mode.« less