Despite the well-established role of small molecular clusters in the very first steps of atmospheric particle formation, their thermochemical data are still not completely available due to limitation of the experimental techniques to treat such small clusters. We have investigated the structures and the thermochemistry of stepwise hydration of clusters containing one bisulfate ion, sulfuric acid, base (ammonia or dimethylamine), and water molecules using quantum chemical methods. We found that water facilitates proton transfer from sulfuric acid or the bisulfate ion to the base or water molecules, and depending on the hydration level, the sulfate ion was formed in most of the base-containing clusters. The calculated hydration energies indicate that water binds more strongly to ammonia-containing clusters than to dimethylamine-containing and base-free clusters, which results in a wider hydrate distribution for ammonia-containing clusters. The electrical mobilities of all clusters were calculated using a particle dynamics model. The results indicate that the effect of humidity is negligible on the electrical mobilities of molecular clusters formed in the very first steps of atmospheric particle formation. The combination of the results of this study with those previously published on the hydration of neutral clusters by our group provides a comprehensive set of thermochemical data on neutral and negatively charged clusters containing sulfuric acid, ammonia, or dimethylamine.
- GALACTIC COSMIC-RAYS
- ATMOSPHERICALLY RELEVANT CLUSTERS
- MOLECULAR CLUSTERS
- AEROSOL NUCLEATION
- PARTICLE FORMATION