Interaction of hydrogen chloride with ice surfaces: The effects of grain size, surface roughness, and surface disorder

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Characterization of the interaction of hydrogen chloride (HCl) with polar stratospheric cloud (PSC) ice particles is essential to understanding the processes responsible for ozone depletion. The interaction of HCl with ice was studied using a coated-wall flow tube with chemical ionization mass spectrometry (CIMS) between 5 × 10 -8 and 10 -4 Torr HCl and between 186 and 223 K, including conditions recently shown to induce quasi-liquid layer (QLL) formation on single crystalline ice samples. Measurements were performed on smooth and rough (vapor-deposited) polycrystalline ice films. A numerical model of the coated-wall flow reactor was used to interpret these results and results of studies on zone-refined ice cylinders with grain sizes on the order of several millimeters (reported elsewhere). We found that HCl adsorption on polycrystalline ice films typically used in laboratory studies under conditions not known to induce surface disordering consists of two modes: one relatively strong mode leading to irreversible adsorption, and one relatively weak binding mode leading to reversible adsorption. We have indirect experimental evidence that these two modes of adsorption correspond to adsorption to sites at crystal faces and those at grain boundaries, but there is not enough information to enable us to conclusively assign each adsorption mode to a type of site. Unlike what was observed in the zone-refined ice study, there was no strong qualitative contrast found between the HCl uptake curves under QLL versus non-QLL conditions for adsorption on smooth and vapor-deposited ices. We also found indirect evidence that HCl hexahydrate formation on ice between 3 × 10 -7 and 2 × 10 -6 Torr HCl and between 186 and 190 K is a process involving hydrate nucleation and propagation on the crystal surface, rather than one originating in grain boundaries, as has been suggested for ice formed at lower temperatures. These results underscore the dependence of the HCl-ice interaction on the characteristics of the ice substrate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6274-6284
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number28
StatePublished - Jul 19 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Interaction of hydrogen chloride with ice surfaces: The effects of grain size, surface roughness, and surface disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this