In this perspectives article, we reflect upon the existence of chirality in atmospheric aerosol particles. We then show that organic particles collected at a field site in the central Amazon Basin under pristine background conditions during the wet and dry seasons consist of chiral secondary organic material. We show how the chiral response from the aerosol particles can be imaged directly without the need for sample dissolution, solvent extraction, or sample preconcentration. By comparing the chiral-response images with optical images, we show that chiral responses always originate from particles on the filter, but not all aerosol particles produce chiral signals. The intensity of the chiral signal produced by the size resolved particles strongly indicates the presence of chiral secondary organic material in the particle. Finally, we discuss the implications of our findings on chiral atmospheric aerosol particles in terms of climate-related properties and source apportionment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry