Molecular Chirality and Cloud Activation Potentials of Dimeric α-Pinene Oxidation Products

Aleia Bellcross, Ariana Gray Bé, Franz M. Geiger*, Regan J. Thomson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The surface activity of ten atmospherically relevant α-pinene-derived dimers having varying terminal functional groups and backbone stereochemistry is reported. We find ∼10% differences in surface activity between diastereomers of the same dimer, demonstrating that surface activity depends upon backbone stereochemistry. Octanol-water (KOW) and octanol-ammonium sulfate partitioning coefficient (KOAS) measurements of our standards align well with the surface activity measurements, with the more surface-active dimers exhibiting increased hydrophobicity. Our findings establish a link between molecular chirality and cloud activation potential of secondary organic aerosol particles. Given the diurnal variations in enantiomeric excess of biogenic emissions, possible contributions of such a link to biosphere:atmosphere feedbacks as well as aerosol particle viscosity and phase separation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16653-16662
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number40
StatePublished - Oct 13 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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