Unanticipated Hydrophobicity Increases of Squalene and Human Skin Oil Films Upon Ozone Exposure

Jana L. Butman, Regan J. Thomson, Franz M. Geiger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The C-H and O-H oscillators on the surfaces of thin films of human-derived skin oil and squalene are probed under ambient conditions (300 K, 1 atm total pressure, 40% RH) using second-order vibrational spectroscopy and contact angle goniometry before and after exposure to ppb amounts of ozone. Skin oil and squalene are found to produce different vibrational sum frequency generation spectra in the C-H stretching region, while exposure to ozone results in surface spectra for both materials that is consistent with a loss of C-H oscillators. The measured contact angles show that the hydrophobicity of the films increases following exposure to ozone, consistent with the reduction in C=C···H2O ("πH") bonding interactions that is expected from C=C double bond loss due to ozonolysis and indicating that the polar functional groups formed point toward the films' interiors. Implications for heterogeneous indoor chemistry are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9417-9423
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 17 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Unanticipated Hydrophobicity Increases of Squalene and Human Skin Oil Films Upon Ozone Exposure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this