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Gaseous SO2 and H2O Droplets: A Deep Dive Into Surface-level Interactions

Dylan Orr
Dylan Orr
Graduate Student, Department of Chemistry
University of Georgia
Physical Seminar

The interactions between gaseous SO2 and the surface of water droplets have been studied extensively over the years due to the environmental impacts of aerosols. Spectroscopic methods including vibrational sum-frequency spectroscopy (VSFS) have been used to better understand the mechanism in which gaseous SO2 reacts and dissolves on a water droplet surface1-3. A weakly bonded SO2:H2O complex on the surface of water droplets has been observed before dissolution using VSFS1. Although there is much to learn about SO2:H2O surface level interactions experimentally, recent computational studies have verified experimental results as well as illuminated questions regarding geometry, bonding, dynamic interactions, and hydrate structures for SO2 interactions on the surface of various water droplet sizes4-5.  Ab initio molecular dynamics simulations have shown how gaseous SO2 first interacts with a water droplet surface5. Born-Oppenheimer molecular dynamics simulations (BOMD) have shown the increasing importance of hydrogen bonding between (SO2)O···H(H2O) in increasing in water droplet size4. Understanding the surface interactions of gaseous SO2 and water droplets has far-reaching applications in physical chemistry and many other fields of science.


(1) Tarbuck, T. L.; Richmond, G. L. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 16806.

(2) Ota, S. T.; Richmond, G. L. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011133, 7497-7508.

(3) Tarbuck, T. L.; RichmondJ. Am. Chem. Soc., 2006128, 3256-3267.

(4) Zhong, J.; Chongqin, Z; Lei, L.; Richmond, G.; Fransico, J. S.; Zheng, X. C. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 47, 17168–17174.

(5) Shamay, E. S.Valley, N. A.Moore, F. G.Richmond, G. L. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 201315, 6893.

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