Articles | Volume 12, issue 11
Research article
15 Jun 2012
Research article |  | 15 Jun 2012

Temperature dependent halogen activation by N2O5 reactions on halide-doped ice surfaces

F. D. Lopez-Hilfiker, K. Constantin, J. P. Kercher, and J. A. Thornton

Abstract. We examined the reaction of N2O5 on frozen halide salt solutions as a function of temperature and composition using a coated wall flow tube technique coupled to a chemical ionization mass spectrometer (CIMS). The molar yield of photo-labile halogen compounds was near unity for almost all conditions studied, with the observed reaction products being nitryl chloride (ClNO2) and/or molecular bromine (Br2). The relative yield of ClNO2 and Br2 depended on the ratio of bromide to chloride ions in the solutions used to form the ice. At a bromide to chloride ion molar ratio greater than 1/30 in the starting solution, Br2 was the dominant product otherwise ClNO2 was primarily produced on these near pH-neutral brines. We demonstrate that the competition between chlorine and bromine activation is a function of the ice/brine temperature presumably due to the preferential precipitation of NaCl hydrates from the brine below 250 K. Our results provide new experimental confirmation that the chemical environment of the brine layer changes with temperature and that these changes can directly affect multiphase chemistry. These findings have implications for modeling air-snow-ice interactions in polar regions and likely in polluted mid-latitude regions during winter as well.

Final-revised paper