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Atmosphere 2016, 7(3), 45; doi:10.3390/atmos7030045

Soot Nanoparticles Could Partake in Nucleation of Biogenic Particles in the Atmosphere: Using Fullerene as a Model Compound

1
Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology (AEET), Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment Monitoring and Pollution Control (AEMPC), School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
2
Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Dalian Maritime University, Dalian 116026, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robert W. Talbot
Received: 3 February 2016 / Accepted: 3 February 2016 / Published: 14 March 2016
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Abstract

The detection of existence of fullerenes (C60 and C70) makes it necessary to explore whether soot nanoparticles can participate in new nanometer-sized particle formation and growth in the atmosphere. This study describes a theoretical investigation at multiple levels on the role of the fullerenes (as model compounds to represent nanoparticles of soot) in the formation of complexes with a common atmospheric nucleating precursor (sulfuric acid, SA) and a biogenic organic acid (cis-pinonic acid, CPA), as well as initial growth of nano-sized biogenic aerosols. Quantum chemical density-functional theory calculations identify the formation of stable fullerene-[CPA-SA] ternary complexes, which likely leads to an enhanced nucleation of SA with CPA. Relevant thermochemical parameters including the changes of Gibbs free energy, enthalpy, and entropy for the complex formation also support that fullerene-[CPA-SA] is most likely to be a newly formed nuclei. The sizes of the critical nucleus of the fullerene-[CPA-SA-H2O] systems were found to be approximately 1.3 nm by large-scale molecular dynamics simulations. This study may provide a new insight into the mechanisms underlying the formation of new particle in the atmospheric environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: fullerenes; biogenic particles; nucleation; growth; molecular simulation fullerenes; biogenic particles; nucleation; growth; molecular simulation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Liu, Y.; Wang, Z.; Wang, S.; Fang, H.; Wang, D. Soot Nanoparticles Could Partake in Nucleation of Biogenic Particles in the Atmosphere: Using Fullerene as a Model Compound. Atmosphere 2016, 7, 45.

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