Phase, Morphology, and Hygroscopicity of Mixed Oleic Acid/Sodium Chloride/Water Aerosol Particles before and after Ozonolysis

Benjamin J. Dennis-Smither, Kate L. Hanford, Nana-Owusua A. Kwamena, Rachael E. H. Miles, Jonathan P. Reid

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

43 Citations (Scopus)


Aerosol optical tweezers are used to probe the phase, morphology, and hygroscopicity of single aerosol particles consisting of an inorganic component, sodium chloride, and a water insoluble organic component, oleic acid. Coagulation of oleic acid aerosol with an optically trapped aqueous sodium chloride droplet leads to formation of a phase-separated particle with two partially engulfed liquid phases. The dependence of the phase and morphology of the trapped particle with variation in relative humidity (RH) is investigated by cavity enhanced Raman spectroscopy over the RH range <5% to >95%. The efflorescence and deliquescence behavior of the inorganic component is shown to be unaffected by the presence of the organic phase. Whereas efflorescence occurs promptly (<1 s), the deliquescence process requires both dissolution of the inorganic component and the adoption of an equilibrium morphology for the resulting two phase particle, occurring on a time-scale of <20 s. Comparative measurements of the hygroscopicity of mixed aqueous sodium chloride/oleic acid droplets with undoped aqueous sodium chloride droplets show that the oleic acid does not impact on the equilibration partitioning of water between the inorganic component and the gas phase or the time response of evaporation/ condensation. The oxidative aging of the particles through reaction with ozone is shown to increase the hygroscopicity of the organic component.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6159-6168
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2012

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