Hydrogen chloride-induced surface disordering on ice

V. Faye McNeill, Thomas Loerting, Franz M. Geiger, Bernhardt L. Trout, Mario J. Molina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Characterizing the interaction of hydrogen chloride (HCl) with polar stratospheric cloud ice particles is essential for understanding the processes responsible for ozone depletion. We studied the interaction of gas-phase HCl with ice between 243 and 186 K by using (i) ellipsometry to monitor the ice surface and (ii) coated-wall flow tube experiments, both with chemical ionization mass spectrometry detection of the gas phase. We show that trace amounts of HCl induce formation of a disordered region, or quasi-liquid layer, at the ice surface at stratospheric temperatures. We also show that surface disordering enhances the chlorine activation reaction of HCl with chlorine nitrate (ClONO2) and also enhances acetic acid (CH3COOH) adsorption. These results impact our understanding of the chemistry and physics of ice particles in the atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9422-9427
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jun 20 2006


  • Chlorine activation
  • Ice chemistry
  • Ozone depletion
  • Stratosphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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