Pickup and reactions of molecules on clusters relevant for atmospheric and interstellar processes
In this perspective, we review experiments with molecules picked up on large clusters in molecular beams with the focus on the processes in atmospheric and interstellar chemistry. First, we concentrate on the pickup itself, and we discuss the pickup cross sections. We measure the uptake of different atmospheric molecules on mixed nitric acid–water clusters and determine the accommodation coefficients relevant for aerosol formation in the Earth's atmosphere. Then the coagulation of the adsorbed molecules on the clusters is investigated. In the second part of this perspective, we review examples of different processes triggered by UV-photons or electrons in the clusters with embedded molecules. We start with the photodissociation of hydrogen halides and Freon CF2Cl2 on ice nanoparticles in connection with the polar stratospheric ozone depletion. Next, we mention reactions following the excitation and ionization of the molecules adsorbed on clusters. The first ionization-triggered reaction observed between two different molecules picked up on the cluster was the proton transfer between methanol and formic acid deposited on large argon clusters. Finally, negative ion reactions after slow electron attachment are illustrated by two examples: mixed nitric acid–water clusters, and hydrogen peroxide deposited on large ArN and (H2O)N clusters. The selected examples are discussed from the perspective of the atmospheric and interstellar chemistry, and several future directions are proposed.
- This article is part of the themed collection: PCCP Perspectives