Ozone uptake on glassy, semi-solid and liquid organic matter and the role of reactive oxygen intermediates in atmospheric aerosol chemistry†
Heterogeneous and multiphase reactions of ozone are important pathways for chemical ageing of atmospheric organic aerosols. To demonstrate and quantify how moisture-induced phase changes can affect the gas uptake and chemical transformation of organic matter, we apply a kinetic multi-layer model to a comprehensive experimental data set of ozone uptake by shikimic acid. The bulk diffusion coefficients were determined to be 10−12 cm2 s−1 for ozone and 10−20 cm2 s−1 for shikimic acid under dry conditions, increasing by several orders of magnitude with increasing relative humidity (RH) due to phase changes from amorphous solid over semisolid to liquid. Consequently, the reactive uptake of ozone progresses through different kinetic regimes characterised by specific limiting processes and parameters. At high RH, ozone uptake is driven by reaction throughout the particle bulk; at low RH it is restricted to reaction near the particle surface and kinetically limited by slow diffusion and replenishment of unreacted organic molecules. Our results suggest that the chemical reaction mechanism involves long-lived reactive oxygen intermediates, likely primary ozonides or O atoms, which may provide a pathway for self-reaction and catalytic destruction of ozone at the surface. Slow diffusion and ozone destruction can effectively shield reactive organic molecules in the particle bulk from degradation. We discuss the potential non-orthogonality of kinetic parameters, and show how this problem can be solved by using comprehensive experimental data sets to constrain the kinetic model, providing mechanistic insights into the coupling of transport, phase changes, and chemical reactions of multiple species in complex systems.