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Special Issue "Atmospheric Surfactants and Humic-like Substances"


A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2013)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Peter Brimblecombe

School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
Website | E-Mail
Phone: ++852-2358-6916
Fax: +44 1603 591327
Interests: chemistry of atmospheric aerosols; chemistry of organic acids and metal-organic complexes in the atmosphere; damage to indoor and outdoor materials by air pollutants and climate change; sources of dust and soiling in museums; history of air pollution; effect of air pollution on art, architecture and design
Guest Editor
Dr. Mohd Talib Latif

School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Malaysia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: chemistry and atmospheric aerosols; surfactants and humic-like substances and atmospheric gases

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last two decades awareness has grown of potential roles for surfactants, long chain carboxylic acids and humic-like substances in the atmospheric aerosol. Surfactants in the atmosphere can arise from the sea-surface microlayer, be associated with biomass burning or other combustion processes, which can produce humic-like substances (HULIS). Large humic-like substance molecules can act as surface active components, alter surface tension, increase the solubility of organic substances, slow the evaporation of water from aerosols, and have the potential to alter droplet size. They could affect climate by producing more cloud droplets and therefore a higher albedo. Humic-like substances and surfactants in the atmosphere are relevant to global and regional atmospheric chemistry and have implication for developing environmental policies.

We are planning a special issue devoted to papers, which will provide in-depth reviews of physical and chemical characteristics and formation of atmospheric surfactants and humic-like. We would be interested in critical reviews of their possible anthropogenic and natural sources, characteristics and contribution to cloud formation and solubility as well as the impact of surfactants on the climate change and human health as part of this special issue. We hope that this issue in Atmosphere will serve as the compendium of the current state of understanding and
be of value to specialist workshops on this topic.

Prof. Dr. Peter Brimblecombe
Dr. Mohd Talib Abd Latif
Guest Editors


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Atmosphere is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs).


  • surfactants
  • humic like substances
  • atmospheric aerosol
  • water soluble organic matter

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Palmitic Acid on Salt Subphases and in Mixed Monolayers of Cerebrosides: Application to Atmospheric Aerosol Chemistry
Atmosphere 2013, 4(4), 315-336; doi:10.3390/atmos4040315
Received: 1 July 2013 / Revised: 24 September 2013 / Accepted: 26 September 2013 / Published: 10 October 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1781 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Palmitic acid (PA) has been found to be a major constituent in marine aerosols, and is commonly used to investigate organic containing atmospheric aerosols, and is therefore used here as a proxy system. Surface pressure-area isotherms (Ï€-A), Brewster angle microscopy (BAM), and
[...] Read more.
Palmitic acid (PA) has been found to be a major constituent in marine aerosols, and is commonly used to investigate organic containing atmospheric aerosols, and is therefore used here as a proxy system. Surface pressure-area isotherms (π-A), Brewster angle microscopy (BAM), and vibrational sum frequency generation (VSFG) were used to observe a PA monolayer during film compression on subphases of ultrapure water, CaCl2 and MgCl2 aqueous solutions, and artificial seawater (ASW). π-A isotherms indicate that salt subphases alter the phase behavior of PA, and BAM further reveals that a condensation of the monolayer occurs when compared to pure water. VSFG spectra and BAM images show that Mg2+ and Ca2+ induce ordering of the PA acyl chains, and it was determined that the interaction of Mg2+ with the monolayer is weaker than Ca2+. π-A isotherms and BAM were also used to monitor mixed monolayers of PA and cerebroside, a simple glycolipid. Results reveal that PA also has a condensing effect on the cerebroside monolayer. Thermodynamic analysis indicates that attractive interactions between the two components exist; this may be due to hydrogen bonding of the galactose and carbonyl headgroups. BAM images of the collapse structures show that mixed monolayers of PA and cerebroside are miscible at all surface pressures. These results suggest that the surface morphology of organic-coated aerosols is influenced by the chemical composition of the aqueous core and the organic film itself. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Surfactants and Humic-like Substances)

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