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Nukleation är det första steget i processen där gasmolekyler i atmosfären bildar nya aerosolpartiklar. Fast uppkomsten av aerosolpartiklar i atmosfären är viktigt både ur klimat- och hälsoperspektiv, finns det endast lite information om nukleationsmekanismer på molekylnivå. I denna doktorsavhandling har potentiella nukleationsmekanismer som inbegriper svavelsyra, tillsammans med antingen vatten och ammoniak eller reaktiva biogeniska molekyler, undersökts med hjälp av kvantkemiska metoder. Kvantkemi, även kallad beräkningskemi, baserar sig på det numeriska lösandet av Schrödingerekvationen för ett system av atomer och elektroner med hjälp av vissa approximationer. Detaljerna i dessa approximationer ger upphov till ett stort antal så kallade modellkemier. En jämförelse av olika kvantkemiska metoder visar att modellkemin bör väljas noggr...
We have used different computational methods, including B3LYP, CCSD(T)-F12 and CBS-QB3, to study and compare the addition–elimination reaction of the nitrate radical NO₃ with four sulfur-containing species relevant to atmospheric chemistry: hydrogen sulfide (H₂S), dimethyl sulfide [(CH₃)₂S], dimethyl sulfoxide [(CH3)₂SO] and sulfur dioxide (SO₂). We find that the reaction with (CH₃)₂SO to give NO₂ + (CH₃)₂SO₂ has a very low barrier, and is likely to be the dominant oxidation mechanism for (CH₃)₂SO in the atmosphere. In agreement with previous experimental data and computational results, we find that the reaction with H₂S and SO₂ is very slow, and the reaction with (CH₃)₂S is not competitive with the hydrogen abstraction route. The differences in reaction energetics and rates between the four species are explained in terms of stabilizin...
We have studied the oxidation of SO₂ to SO₃ by four peroxyradicals and two carbonyl oxides (Criegee intermediates) using both density functional theory, B3LYP, and explicitly correlated coupled cluster theory, CCSD(T)-F12. All the studied peroxyradicals react very slowly with SO₂ due to energy barriers (activation energies) of around 10 kcal/mol or more. We find that water molecules are not able to catalyze these reactions. The reaction of stabilized Criegee intermediates with SO₂ is predicted to be fast, as the transition states for these oxidation reactions are below the free reactants in energy. The atmospheric relevance of these reactions depends on the lifetimes of the Criegee intermediates, which, at present, is highly uncertain.
We have investigated the reaction of the one-carbon stabilized Criegee intermediate (H_2COO, formaldehyde oxide) with ozone, theoretically, using high level coupled cluster ab initio methods. Key to the reactivity of the Criegee intermediate with ozone is the strongly exothermic formation of an intermediate consisting of five oxygen and one carbon atoms (H_2CO_5) in a six-membered ring structure. This intermediate proceeds via a spin-allowed route over two transition states with low energy barriers to form molecular oxygen and formaldehyde. The reaction may contribute to the loss of these biradicals in the atmosphere.
The formation of nanoparticles by condensable vapors in the atmosphere influences radiative forcing and therefore climate. We explored the detailed mechanism of particle formation, in particular the role of oxidized organic molecules that arise from the oxidation of monoterpenes, a class of volatile organic compounds emitted from plants. We mimicked atmospheric conditions in a well-controlled laboratory setup and found that these oxidized organics form initial clusters directly with single sulfuric acid molecules. The clusters then grow by the further addition of both sulfuric acid and organic molecules. Some of the organics are remarkably highly oxidized, a critical feature that enables them to participate in forming initial stable molecular clusters and to facilitate the first steps of atmospheric nanoparticle formation.
Nucleation of aerosol particles from trace atmospheric vapours is thought to provide up to half of global cloud condensation nuclei1. Aerosols can cause a net cooling of climate by scattering sunlight and by leading to smaller but more numerous cloud droplets, which makes clouds brighter and extends their lifetimes2. Atmospheric aerosols derived from human activities are thought to have compensated for a large fraction of the warming caused by greenhouse gases2. However, despite its importance for climate, atmospheric nucleation is poorly understood. Recently, it has been shown that sulphuric acid and ammonia cannot explain particle formation rates observed in the lower atmosphere3. It is thought that amines may enhance nucleation4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, but until now there has been no direct evidence for amine ter...
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