Observations on hygroscopic growth and phase transitions of mixed 1, 2, 6-hexanetriol / (NH.sub.4).sub.2SO.sub.4 particles: investigation of the liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) dynamic process and mechanism and secondary LLPS during the dehumidification.

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Date: June 29, 2021
From: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics(Vol. 21, Issue 12)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 304 words

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Abstract :

Atmospheric aerosols consisting of organic and inorganic components may undergo liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) and liquid-solid phase transitions during ambient relative humidity (RH) fluctuation. However, the knowledge of dynamic phase evolution processes for mixed organic-inorganic particles is scarce. Here we present a universal and visualized observation of LLPS, efflorescence and deliquescence transitions as well as hygroscopic growth of laboratory-generated mixed 1, 2, 6-hexanetriol / ammonium sulfate (AS) particles with different organic-inorganic mole ratios (OIR = 1:4, 1:2, 1:1, 2:1 and 4:1) with high time resolution (0.5 s) using an optical microscope operated with a video camera. The optical images suggest that an inner AS solution phase is surrounded by an outer organic-rich phase after LLPS for all mixed particles. The LLPS mechanism for particles with different OIRs is found to be distinct; meanwhile, multiple mechanisms may dominate successively in individual particles with a certain OIR, somewhat inconsistently with previously reported observations. More importantly, another phase separation in the inner AS solution phase, defined as secondary LLPS here, is observed for OIR = 1:1, 1:2 and 1:4 particles. The secondary LLPS may be attributed to the formation of more concentrated AS inclusions in the inner phase and becomes more obvious with decreasing RH and increasing AS mole fraction. Furthermore, the changes in size and number of AS inclusions during LLPS are quantitatively characterized, which further illustrate the equilibrium partitioning process of organic and inorganic components. These experimental results have significant implications for the revelation of complex phase transitions of internally mixed atmospheric particles and evaluation of liquid-liquid and liquid-solid equilibria in thermodynamic models.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A666787145