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  1. Abstract. Short-lived highly reactive atmospheric species, such as organic peroxy radicals (RO2) and stabilized Criegee intermediates (SCIs), play an important role in controlling the oxidative removal and transformation of many natural and anthropogenic trace gases in the atmosphere. Direct speciated measurements of these components are extremely helpful for understanding their atmospheric fate and impact. We describe thedevelopment of an online method for measurements of SCIs and RO2 inlaboratory experiments using chemical derivatization and spin trappingtechniques combined with H3O+ and NH4+ chemicalionization mass spectrometry (CIMS). Using chemical derivatization agentswith low proton affinity, such as electron-poor carbonyls, we scavenge allSCIs produced from a wide range of alkenes without depleting CIMS reagentions. Comparison between our measurements and results from numericmodeling, using a modified version of the Master Chemical Mechanism, showsthat the method can be used for the quantification of SCIs in laboratoryexperiments with a detection limit of 1.4×107 molecule cm−3for an integration time of 30 s with the instrumentation used in this study. Weshow that spin traps are highly reactive towards atmospheric radicals andform stable adducts with them by studying the gas-phase kinetics of thereaction of spin traps with the hydroxyl radical (OH). We also demonstrate that spin trapadducts with SCIs and RO2 can be simultaneouslymore »probed and quantified under laboratory conditions with a detection limit of 1.6×108 molecule cm−3 for an integration time of 30 s for RO2 species with the instrumentation used in this study. Spin trapping prevents radical secondary reactions and cycling, ensuring that measurements are not biased by chemical interferences, and it can be implemented for detecting RO2 species in laboratory studies and potentially in the ambient atmosphere.« less
  2. Abstract Atmospheric ice nucleating particles (INPs) influence global climate by altering cloud formation, lifetime, and precipitation efficiency. The role of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) material as a source of INPs in the ambient atmosphere has not been well defined. Here, we demonstrate the potential for biogenic SOA to activate as depositional INPs in the upper troposphere by combining field measurements with laboratory experiments. Ambient INPs were measured in a remote mountaintop location at –46 °C and an ice supersaturation of 30% with concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 70 L –1 . Concentrations of depositional INPs were positively correlated with the mass fractions and loadings of isoprene-derived secondary organic aerosols. Compositional analysis of ice residuals showed that ambient particles with isoprene-derived SOA material can act as depositional ice nuclei. Laboratory experiments further demonstrated the ability of isoprene-derived SOA to nucleate ice under a range of atmospheric conditions. We further show that ambient concentrations of isoprene-derived SOA can be competitive with other INP sources. This demonstrates that isoprene and potentially other biogenically-derived SOA materials could influence cirrus formation and properties.
  3. The Earth’s atmosphere contains a multitude of emitted (primary) and chemically formed (secondary) gases and particles that degrade air quality and modulate the climate. Reactive organic carbon (ROC) species are the fuel of the chemistry of the atmosphere, dominating short-lived emissions, reactivity, and the secondary production of key species such as ozone, particulate matter, and carbon dioxide. Despite the central importance of ROC, the diversity and complexity of this class of species has been a longstanding obstacle to developing a comprehensive understanding of how the composition of our atmosphere, and the associated environmental implications, will evolve. Here, we characterize the role of ROC in atmospheric chemistry and the challenges inherent in measuring and modeling ROC, and highlight recent progress toward achieving mass closure for the complete description of atmospheric ROC.
  4. Abstract. Oxidation of organic compounds in the atmosphere produces an immenselycomplex mixture of product species, posing a challenge for both theirmeasurement in laboratory studies and their inclusion in air quality andclimate models. Mass spectrometry techniques can measure thousands of thesespecies, giving insight into these chemical processes, but the datasetsthemselves are highly complex. Data reduction techniques that groupcompounds in a chemically and kinetically meaningful way provide a route tosimplify the chemistry of these systems but have not been systematicallyinvestigated. Here we evaluate three approaches to reducing thedimensionality of oxidation systems measured in an environmental chamber:positive matrix factorization (PMF), hierarchical clustering analysis (HCA),and a parameterization to describe kinetics in terms of multigenerationalchemistry (gamma kinetics parameterization, GKP). The evaluation isimplemented by means of two datasets: synthetic data consisting of athree-generation oxidation system with known rate constants, generationnumbers, and chemical pathways; and the measured products of OH-initiatedoxidation of a substituted aromatic compound in a chamber experiment. Wefind that PMF accounts for changes in the average composition of allproducts during specific periods of time but does not sort compounds intogenerations or by another reproducible chemical process. HCA, on the otherhand, can identify major groups of ions and patterns of behavior andmaintains bulk chemical properties likemore »carbon oxidation state that can beuseful for modeling. The continuum of kinetic behavior observed in a typicalchamber experiment can be parameterized by fitting species' time traces tothe GKP, which approximates the chemistry as a linear, first-order kineticsystem. The fitted parameters for each species are the number of reaction stepswith OH needed to produce the species (the generation) and an effectivekinetic rate constant that describes the formation and loss rates of thespecies. The thousands of species detected in a typical laboratory chamberexperiment can be organized into a much smaller number (10–30) of groups,each of which has a characteristic chemical composition and kinetic behavior.This quantitative relationship between chemical and kinetic characteristics,and the significant reduction in the complexity of the system, provides anapproach to understanding broad patterns of behavior in oxidation systemsand could be exploited for mechanism development and atmospheric chemistrymodeling.« less
  5. Abstract. Aromatic hydrocarbons make up a large fraction of anthropogenic volatile organic compounds and contribute significantly to the production of tropospheric ozone and secondary organic aerosol (SOA). Four toluene and four 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene (1,2,4-TMB) photooxidation experiments were performed in an environmental chamber under relevantpolluted conditions (NOx∼10 ppb). An extensive suite of instrumentation including two proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometers (PTR-MS) and two chemical ionisation mass spectrometers (NH4+ CIMS and I− CIMS) allowed for quantification of reactive carbon in multiple generations of hydroxyl radical (OH)-initiated oxidation. Oxidation of both species produces ring-retaining products such as cresols, benzaldehydes, and bicyclic intermediate compounds, as well as ring-scission products such as epoxides and dicarbonyls. We show that the oxidation of bicyclic intermediate products leads to the formation of compounds with high oxygen content (an O:C ratio of up to 1.1). These compounds, previously identified as highly oxygenated molecules (HOMs), are produced by more than one pathway with differing numbers of reaction steps with OH, including both auto-oxidation and phenolic pathways. We report the elemental composition of these compounds formed under relevant urban high-NO conditions. We show that ring-retaining products for these two precursors are more diverse and abundant than predicted by current mechanisms. We present the speciated elemental composition of SOA for both precursorsmore »and confirm that highly oxygenated products make up a significant fraction of SOA. Ring-scission products are also detected in both the gas and particle phases, and their yields and speciation generally agree with the kinetic model prediction.« less
  6. Abstract. Chemical ionization massspectrometry (CIMS) instruments routinely detect hundreds of oxidized organic compoundsin the atmosphere. A major limitation of these instruments is the uncertaintyin their sensitivity to many of the detected ions. We describe thedevelopment of a new high-resolution time-of-flight chemical ionization massspectrometer that operates in one of two ionization modes: using eitherammonium ion ligand-switching reactions such as for NH4+ CIMS orproton transfer reactions such as for proton-transfer-reaction massspectrometer (PTR-MS). Switching between the modes can be done within 2 min.The NH4+ CIMS mode of the new instrument has sensitivities of upto 67 000 dcps ppbv−1 (duty-cycle-corrected ion counts per second perpart per billion by volume) and detection limits between 1 and 60 pptv at2σ for a 1 s integration time for numerous oxygenated volatileorganic compounds. We present a mass spectrometric voltage scanning procedurebased on collision-induced dissociation that allows us to determine thestability of ammonium-organic ions detected by the NH4+more »xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="amt-12-1861-2019-ie00005.svg" width="24pt" height="15pt" src="amt-12-1861-2019-ie00005.png"/> CIMS instrument.Using this procedure, we can effectively constrain the sensitivity of theammonia chemical ionization mass spectrometer to a wide range of detectedoxidized volatile organic compounds for which no calibration standards exist.We demonstrate the application of this procedure by quantifying thecomposition of secondary organic aerosols in a series of laboratoryexperiments.

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  7. Organic compounds in the atmosphere vary widely in their molecular composition and chemical properties, so no single instrument can reasonably measure the entire range of ambient compounds. Over the past decade, a new generation of in situ , field-deployable mass spectrometers has dramatically improved our ability to detect, identify, and quantify these organic compounds, but no systematic approach has been developed to assess the extent to which currently available tools capture the entire space of chemical identity and properties that is expected in the atmosphere. Reduced-parameter frameworks that have been developed to describe atmospheric mixtures are exploited here to characterize the range of chemical properties accessed by a suite of instruments. Multiple chemical spaces ( e.g. oxidation state of carbon vs. volatility, and oxygen number vs. carbon number) were populated with ions measured by several mass spectrometers, with gas- and particle-phase α-pinene oxidation products serving as the test mixture of organic compounds. Few gaps are observed in the coverage of the parameter spaces by the instruments employed in this work, though the full extent to which comprehensive measurement was achieved is difficult to assess due to uncertainty in the composition of the mixture. Overlaps between individual ions and regions inmore »parameter space were identified, both between gas- and particle-phase measurements, and within each phase. These overlaps were conservatively found to account for little (<10%) of the measured mass. However, challenges in identifying overlaps and in accurately converting molecular formulas into chemical properties (such as volatility or reactivity) highlight a continued need to incorporate structural information into atmospheric measurements.« less