University of Oulu

J. Phys. Chem. A 2020, 124, 2, 422-429.

Influence of organic acids on the surface composition of sea spray aerosol

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Author: Unger, Isaak1; Saak, Clara-Magdalena1; Salter, Matthew1,2,3;
Organizations: 1Uppsala University, Box 516, SE-75120 Uppsala, Sweden
2Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden
3Bolin Centre for Climate Research, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden
4Nano and Molecular Systems Research Unit, Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 8000 FI-90570 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: American Chemical Society, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-12-13


Recent studies on sea spray aerosol indicate an enrichment of Ca2+ in small particles, which are often thought to originate from the very surface of a water body when bubbles burst. One model to explain this observation is the formation of ion pairs between Ca2+(aq) and surface-active organic species. In this study, we have used X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to probe aqueous salt solutions and artificial sea spray aerosol to study whether ion pairing in the liquid environment also affects the surface composition of dry aerosol. Carboxylic acids were added to the sample solutions to mimic some of the organic compounds present in natural seawater. Our results show that the formation of a core–shell structure governs the surface composition of the aerosol. The core–shell structure contrasts previous observations of the dry sea spray aerosol on substrates. As such, this may indicate that substrates can impact the morphology of the dried aerosol.

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Series: The journal of physical chemistry. A
ISSN: 1089-5639
ISSN-E: 1520-5215
ISSN-L: 1089-5639
Volume: 124
Issue: 2
Pages: 422 - 429
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.9b09710
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 114 Physical sciences
116 Chemical sciences
Funding: The authors would like to thank Christophe Nicolas, Aleksandar Milosavljevic, John Bozek, and Ilona Riipinen for their support and thoughts surrounding this article and Edwin Kukk for the SPANCF curve-fitting package. M.P. acknowledges the support from the Academy of Finland. I.U. thanks Stephan Thürmer for some of the procedures for data analysis and the Carl Tryggers Foundation for financial support. M. S. was financed by the Swedish Research Council (project number 2016-05100). P. Z. acknowledges funding from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, project Arctic Climate Across Scales (ACAS; project no. 2016.0024). Parts of this research were carried out at PLEIADES beamline at SOLEIL synchrotron (proposal number 20160032). We would like to thank Dr. Christophe Nicolas for assistance during the experiment. We thank also HZB for the allocation synchrotron radiation beamtime.
Copyright information: This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Journal of physical chemistry A, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see