Photochemical Aging of Secondary Organic Aerosol Particles Generated from the Oxidation of d-Limonene

Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) particles are generated by reacting d-limonene vapor and ozone in a Teflon reaction chamber. The reaction is carried out in either dry or humid air in darkness. The resulting SOA particles are collected on glass fiber filters, and their photochemical properties are probed using a combination of UV photodissociation action spectroscopy and absorption spectroscopy techniques. Photolysis of limonene SOA in the tropospheric actinic region (λ > 295 nm) readily produces formic acid and formaldehyde as gas-phase products. The UV wavelength dependence of the photolysis product yield suggests that the primary absorbers in SOA particles are organic peroxides. The relative humidity maintained during SOA particle growth is found to have little effect on the UV wavelength dependence of the photolysis product yield. The data suggest that direct photodissociation processes may play an important role in photochemical processing of atmospheric SOA particles.