The confocal Raman microscopy is utilized to investigate the liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) of mixed magnesium sulfate/glutaric acid (MgSO4/GA) droplets deposited on a hydrophobic polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) substrate and a hydrophilic quartz substrate. Raman spectra collected from different regions of the mixed droplets provide detailed information of component distributions for MgSO4 and GA. During the dehydration process, the MgSO4/GA mixed particles show the initial liquid-liquid phase separation between 85% and 80% relative humidity (RH) on both the hydrophobic and hydrophilic substrates. For the droplets deposited on the two substrates, the inner phase of droplets is dominated by aqueous MgSO4, which is surrounded by a rich GA organic layer due to the surface tension effects. In addition, the crystallization of GA could be observed in the organic aqueous phase while it is inhibited in the inner MgSO4 phase due to the effects of gel formation of MgSO4 at low RH. The Raman spectra reveal that with decreasing RH the morphology of the mixed droplet evolves from a uniform droplet to the structure of LLPS with the GA crystallizing in the outer layer and MgSO4 gel formed in the inner phase. These findings contribute to the further understanding of the role of interactions between inorganic salts and organic acids on the morphological evolution and environmental effects of atmospheric aerosols under ambient RH conditions.
Atmospheric Environment – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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