Stereochemical transfer to atmospheric aerosol particles accompanying the oxidation of biogenic volatile organic compounds

Carlena J. Ebben*, Soeren R. Zorn, Seung Bok Lee, Paulo Artaxo, Scot T. Martin, Franz M. Geiger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Asymmetric emission profiles of the stereoisomers of plant-derived volatile organic compounds vary with season, geography, plant type, and stress factors. After oxidation of these compounds in the atmosphere, the low-vapor pressure products ultimately contribute strongly to the particle-phase material of the atmosphere. In order to explore the possibility of stereochemical transfer to atmospheric aerosol particles during the oxidation of biogenic volatile organic compounds, second-order coherent vibrational spectra were recorded of the particle-phase organic material produced by the oxidation of different stereoisomeric mixes of-pinene. The spectra show that the stereochemical configurations are not scrambled but instead are transferred from the gas-phase molecular precursors to the particle-phase molecules. The spectra also show that oligomers formed in the particle phase have a handed superstructure that depends strongly and nonlinearly on the initial stereochemical composition of the precursors. Because the stereochemical mix of the precursors for a material can influence the physical and chemical properties of that material, our findings suggest that chirality is also important for such properties of plant-derived aerosol particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL16807
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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