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Coexistence of Physisorbed and Solvated HCI at Warm Ice Surfaces

Journal article
Authors Xiangrui Kong
A. Waldner
F. Orlando
L. Artiglia
T. Huthwelker
M. Ammann
T. Bartels-Rausch
Published in Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Volume 8
Issue 19
Pages 4757-4762
ISSN 1948-7185
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 4757-4762
Language en
Keywords molecular-dynamics simulations, x-ray-absorption, hydrogen-chloride, hydrochloric-acid, aqueous hcl, water-ice, ionization, chemistry, snow, hno3, Chemistry, Science & Technology
Subject categories Chemistry


The interfacial ionization of strong acids is an essential factor of multiphase and heterogeneous chemistry in environmental science, cryospheric science, catalysis research and material science. Using near ambient pressure core level X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, we directly detected a low surface coverage of adsorbed HCl at 253 K in both molecular and dissociated states. Depth profiles derived from XPS data indicate the results as physisorbed molecular HCl at the outermost ice surface and dissociation occurring upon solvation deeper in the interfacial region. Complementary X-ray absorption measurements confirm that the presence of ions induces significant changes to the hydrogen bonding network in the interfacial region. This study gives clear evidence for nonuniformity across the air ice interface and questions the use of acid base concepts in interfacial processes.

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