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Directional Proton Transfer in the Reaction of the Simplest Criegee Intermediate with Water Involving the Formation of Transient H3O+

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posted on 30.03.2021, 20:16 authored by Jinfeng Liu, Yanqing Liu, Jinrong Yang, Xiao Cheng Zeng, Xiao He
The reaction of Criegee intermediates with water vapor has been widely known as a key Criegee reaction in the troposphere. Herein, we investigated the reaction of the smallest Criegee intermediate, CH2OO, with a water cluster through fragment-based ab initio molecular dynamics simulations at the MP2/aug-cc-pVDZ level. Our results show that the CH2OO–water reaction could occur not only at the air/water interface but also inside the water cluster. Moreover, more than one reactive water molecules are required for the CH2OO–water reaction, which is always initiated from the Criegee carbon atom and ends at the terminal Criegee oxygen atom via a directional proton transfer process. The observed reaction pathways include the loop-structure-mediated and stepwise mechanisms, and the latter involves the formation of transient H3O+. The lifetime of transient H3O+ is on the order of a few picoseconds, which may impact the atmospheric budget of the other trace gases in the actual atmosphere.

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