Articles | Volume 10, issue 10
28 May 2010
 | 28 May 2010

Enhancing effect of dimethylamine in sulfuric acid nucleation in the presence of water – a computational study

V. Loukonen, T. Kurtén, I. K. Ortega, H. Vehkamäki, A. A. H. Pádua, K. Sellegri, and M. Kulmala

Abstract. We have studied the hydration of sulfuric acid – ammonia and sulfuric acid – dimethylamine clusters using quantum chemistry. We calculated the formation energies and thermodynamics for clusters of one ammonia or one dimethylamine molecule together with 1–2 sulfuric acid and 0–5 water molecules. The results indicate that dimethylamine enhances the addition of sulfuric acid to the clusters much more efficiently than ammonia when the number of water molecules in the cluster is either zero, or greater than two. Further hydrate distribution calculations reveal that practically all dimethylamine-containing two-acid clusters will remain unhydrated in tropospherically relevant circumstances, thus strongly suggesting that dimethylamine assists atmospheric sulfuric acid nucleation much more effectively than ammonia.

Final-revised paper