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Issue 32, 2010
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Reaction of gas phase OH with unsaturated self-assembled monolayers and relevance to atmospheric organic oxidations

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Abstract

The kinetics and mechanisms of the reaction of gas phase OH radicals with organics on surfaces are of fundamental chemical interest, as well as relevant to understanding the degradation of organics on tropospheric surfaces or when they are components of airborne particles. We report here studies of the oxidation of a terminal alkene self-assembled monolayer (7-octenyltrichlorosilane, C8[double bond, length as m-dash] SAM) on a germanium attenuated total reflectance crystal by OH radicals at a concentration of 2.1 × 105 cm−3 at 1 atm total pressure and 298 K in air. Loss of the reactant SAM and the formation of surface products were followed in real time using infrared spectroscopy. From the rate of loss of the C[double bond, length as m-dash]C bond, a reaction probability within experimental error of unity was derived. The products formed on the surface include organic nitrates and carbonyl compounds, with yields of 10 ± 4% and ≤7 ± 4%, respectively, and there is evidence for the formation of organic products with C–O bonds such as alcohols, ethers and/or alkyl peroxides and possibly peroxynitrates. The yield of organic nitrates relative to carbonyl compounds is higher than expected based on analogous gas phase mechanisms, suggesting that the branching ratio for the RO2 + NO reaction is shifted to favor the formation of organic nitrates when the reaction occurs on a surface. Water uptake onto the surface was only slightly enhanced upon oxidation, suggesting that oxidation per se cannot be taken as a predictor of increased hydrophilicity of atmospheric organics. These experiments indicate that the mechanisms for the surface reactions are different from gas phase reactions, but the OH oxidation of surface species will still be a significant contributor to determining their lifetimes in air.

Graphical abstract: Reaction of gas phase OH with unsaturated self-assembled monolayers and relevance to atmospheric organic oxidations

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Jan 2010, accepted on 06 May 2010 and first published on 08 Jun 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C000447B
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010,12, 9419-9428
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    Reaction of gas phase OH with unsaturated self-assembled monolayers and relevance to atmospheric organic oxidations

    S. G. Moussa and B. J. Finlayson-Pitts, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010, 12, 9419
    DOI: 10.1039/C000447B

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