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Issue 129, 2015
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Complementarity of neutron reflectometry and ellipsometry for the study of atmospheric reactions at the air–water interface

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Abstract

The combined application of neutron reflectometry (NR) and ellipsometry to determine the oxidation kinetics of organic monolayers at the air–water interface is described for the first time. This advance was possible thanks to a new miniaturised reaction chamber that is compatible with the two techniques and has controlled gas delivery. The rate coefficient for the oxidation of methyl oleate monolayers by gas-phase O3 determined using NR is (5.4 ± 0.6) × 10−10 cm2 per molecule per s, which is consistent with the value reported in the literature but is now better constrained. This highlights the potential for the investigation of faster atmospheric reactions in future studies. The rate coefficient determined using ellipsometry is (5.0 ± 0.9) × 10−10 cm2 per molecule per s, which indicates the potential of this more economical, laboratory-based technique to be employed in parallel with NR. In this case, temporal fluctuations in the optical signal are attributed to the mobility of islands of reaction products. We outline how such information may provide critical missing information in the identification of transient reaction products in a range of atmospheric surface reactions in the future.

Graphical abstract: Complementarity of neutron reflectometry and ellipsometry for the study of atmospheric reactions at the air–water interface

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Oct 2015, accepted on 04 Dec 2015 and first published on 09 Dec 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5RA22725A
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Citation: RSC Adv., 2015,5, 107105-107111
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    Complementarity of neutron reflectometry and ellipsometry for the study of atmospheric reactions at the air–water interface

    F. Sebastiani, R. A. Campbell and C. Pfrang, RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 107105
    DOI: 10.1039/C5RA22725A

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