Amine reactivity with charged sulfuric acid clusters

B. R. Bzdek, D. P. Ridge, M. V. Johnston*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


The distribution of charged species produced by electrospray of an ammonium sulfate solution in both positive and negative polarities is examined using Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTICR-MS). Positively-charged ammonium bisulfate cluster composition differs significantly from negatively-charged cluster composition. For positively-charged clusters all sulfuric acid is neutralized to bisulfate, whereas for negatively-charged clusters the degree of sulfuric acid neutralization is cluster size-dependent. With increasing cluster size (and, therefore, a decreasing role of charge), both positively-and negatively-charged cluster compositions converge toward ammonium bisulfate. The reactivity of negatively-charged sulfuric acid-ammonia clusters with dimethylamine and ammonia is also investigated by FTICR-MS. Two series of negatively-charged clusters are investigated: [(HSO4)(H 2SO4)x]− and [(NH4)x(HSO4)x+1(H 2SO4)3]-. Dimethylamine substitution for ammonia in [(NH4)x(HSO4) x+1(H2SO4)3]-clusters is nearly collision-limited, and subsequent addition of dimethylamine to neutralize H 2SO4 to bisulfate is within one order of magnitude of the substitution rate. Dimethylamine addition to [(HSO4) (H 2SO4)x]-clusters is either not observed or very slow. The results of this study indicate that amine chemistry will be evident and important only in large ambient negative ions (i400), whereas amine chemistry may be evident in small ambient positive ions. Addition of ammonia to unneutralized clusters occurs at a rate that is ∼2-3 orders of magnitude slower than incorporation of dimethylamine either by substitution or addition. Therefore, in locations where amine levels are within a few orders of magnitude of ammonia levels, amine chemistry may compete favorably with ammonia chemistry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8735-8743
Number of pages9
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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