Organic peroxy radicals (RO2) play a pivotal role in the degradation of hydrocarbons. The autoxidation of atmospheric RO2 radicals produces highly oxygenated organic molecules (HOMs), including low-volatility ROOR dimers formed by bimolecular RO2 + RO2 reactions. HOMs can initiate and greatly contribute to the formation and growth of atmospheric particles. As a result, HOMs have far-reaching health and climate implications. Nevertheless, the structures and formation mechanism of RO2 radicals and HOMs remain elusive. Here, we present the in-situ characterization of RO2 and dimer structure in the gas-phase, using online tandem mass spectrometry analyses. In this study, we constrain the structures and formation pathway of several HOM-RO2 radicals and dimers produced from monoterpene ozonolysis, a prominent atmospheric oxidation process. In addition to providing insights into atmospheric HOM chemistry, this study debuts online tandem MS analyses as a unique approach for the chemical characterization of reactive compounds, e.g., organic radicals.
Publication forum classification
- Publication forum level 3
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Chemistry
- General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Physics and Astronomy