Special Issue "Physical Chemistry of the Air-Water Interface"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Biosphere/Hydrosphere/Land - Atmosphere Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 October 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Agustin J. Colussi

Linde Center for Global Environmental Science, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: interfacial Criegee chemistry; heterogeneous chemistry of China Haze Events; long-range ion–ion interactions at the air–water interface; properties of percolating hydrogen-bonding networks on aqueous surfaces; interfacial Fenton chemistry on aqueous organic aerosols

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Interfacial water is not thin ‘water’. In the steep water density gradient present at the air–water interface (AWI), extreme anisotropy coexists with a hydrogen-bonding network constrained by the lack of inversion symmetry. These features give rise to unprecedented, unanticipated and often unimagined phenomena from what we know about bulk water. The composition of interfacial layers can also be very different from that of the bulk solutions beneath. The fascinating physical chemistry associated with these observations, however, will be not just another frontier research topic because it matters to what happens on the aerial surfaces of lungs, oceans, clouds and atmospheric aerosols. Understanding what determines the interfacial propensities of ions and molecules, how the interfacial hydrogen-bonding network mediates specific interactions between distant solutes, and how decreased hydration influences equilibria, reactivity and selectivity at the AWI are some of the outstanding issues in this field. Awareness that the AWI may appear different when probed from above and below the surface should inform the conclusions derived from future experiments. Approaches based on molecular dynamic calculations should deal with and possibly account for the collective, long-range interactions apparent in both bulk and interfacial water. Fundamental new concepts are likely to emerge from these studies.

Prof. Dr. Agustin J. Colussi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind 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 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Non-linear surface spectroscopy
  • Online electrospray ionization mass spectrometry
  • Cooperative effects in water
  • Hydrogen bonding in interfacial water
  • Interfacial atmospheric chemistry
  • Interfacial chemistry of lung epithelial fluids
  • Chemical equilibria in interfacial water
  • Ion hydration in interfacial water

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle The FuGas 2.3 Framework for Atmosphere–Ocean Coupling: Comparing Algorithms for the Estimation of Solubilities and Gas Fluxes
Atmosphere 2018, 9(8), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9080310
Received: 8 May 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 2 August 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
PDF Full-text (2005 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Accurate estimates of the atmosphere–ocean fluxes of greenhouse gases and dimethyl sulphide (DMS) have great importance in climate change models. A significant part of these fluxes occur at the coastal ocean which, although much smaller than the open ocean, have more heterogeneous conditions.
[...] Read more.
Accurate estimates of the atmosphere–ocean fluxes of greenhouse gases and dimethyl sulphide (DMS) have great importance in climate change models. A significant part of these fluxes occur at the coastal ocean which, although much smaller than the open ocean, have more heterogeneous conditions. Hence, Earth System Modelling (ESM) requires representing the oceans at finer resolutions which, in turn, requires better descriptions of the chemical, physical and biological processes. The standard formulations for the solubilities and gas transfer velocities across air–water surfaces are 36 and 24 years old, and new alternatives have emerged. We have developed a framework combining the related geophysical processes and choosing from alternative formulations with different degrees of complexity. The framework was tested with fine resolution data from the European coastal ocean. Although the benchmark and alternative solubility formulations generally agreed well, their minor divergences yielded differences of up to 5.8% for CH4 dissolved at the ocean surface. The transfer velocities differ strongly (often more than 100%), a consequence of the benchmark empirical wind-based formulation disregarding significant factors that were included in the alternatives. We conclude that ESM requires more comprehensive simulations of atmosphere–ocean interactions, and that further calibration and validation is needed for the formulations to be able to reproduce it. We propose this framework as a basis to update with formulations for processes specific to the air–water boundary, such as the presence of surfactants, rain, the hydration reaction or biological activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Chemistry of the Air-Water Interface)

Figure 1

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Tentative title: Fatty acid system proxies for marine sea spray and surface prevalence
Authors: Kim Carter; Heather Allen; et al
Affiliations: The Ohio State University

2. Tentative title: The Formation of Organosulfate from Criegee Intermediate Reactions in the Gas Phase and at the Air-Water Interface
Authors: Joseph S. Francisco et al
Affiliations: University of Nebraska - Lincoln

3. Tentative title: H3O+/OH- ions propensity and pH modulation of the 2D-HB-Network at the air-water interface by simulations and vibrational spectroscopy
Authors: Simone Pezzotti et al
Affiliations: Université d'Evry Val d'Essonne
Preliminary Abstract: We will present works that follow up our recent findings regarding the water arrangement at the neutral air-water interface (J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2017, 8, 3133–3141), consisting in an extended 2D-HB-Network connecting the vast majority of water molecules in the interfacial layer. The change in the interfacial structure is evaluated in departing conditions from neutral pH and approaching either acid or basic conditions, by means of DFT-based MD simulations and vibrational Sum Frequency Generation (vSFG) spectroscopy. The structural changes induced by the presence of H3O+/OH- ions at the interface will be quantified in terms of the weakening/strengthening of the 2D-HB-Network formed at the air-water interface, and will be related to specific changes in the spectroscopic signatures of the interface.

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