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New Insights into Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation: Water Binding to Limonene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1081-1086
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of physical chemistry letters
Issue number3
Published28 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The authors acknowledge funding from the EU FP7 (Marie Curie Grant PCIG12-GA-2012-334525) as well as King’s College London and acknowledge use of the research computing facility at King’s College London, Rosalind ( ). Publisher Copyright: © 2021 American Chemical Society. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


King's Authors


Limonene is an abundant monoterpene in the atmosphere and one of the main
precursors of secondary organic aerosol. Understanding its interactions with atmospheric molecules is crucial to explain aerosol formation and the various products obtained from competing reaction pathways. Here, using broadband rotational spectroscopy in combination with computational calculations, we show that limonene effectively interacts with water, forming a variety of complexes. Seven different isomers of limonene−H2O, where water and limonene are connected by O−H···π and C−H···O interactions, have been unambiguously identified. Water has been found to preferentially bind to the endocyclic double bond of limonene. Our findings demonstrate a striking ability of water to attach to limonene and enrich
our knowledge on the possible interactions of limonene in the atmosphere.

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