Communication: Fourier-transform infrared probing of remarkable quantities of gas trapped in cold homogeneously nucleated nanodroplets


Uras-Aytemiz N., Devlin J. P.

JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, vol.139, no.2, 2013 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 139 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1063/1.4813793
  • Title of Journal : JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS

Abstract

Studies of catalyzed all-vapor gas-hydrate formation on a sub-second timescale have been extended with a special focus on liquid-droplet compositions at the instant of hydrate crystallization. This focus has been enabled by inclusion of methanol in the all-vapor mixture. This slows droplet to gas-hydrate conversion near 200 K to a time scale suited for standard FTIR sampling. Such droplet data are sought as a guide to ongoing efforts to reduce the amount of guest catalyst required for instant formation of the gas hydrates. For the same reason, all-vapor sampling has also been extended to the generation of long-lived liquid droplets with reduced or no water content. Observations of single-solvent droplets show that surprising quantities of gas molecules are trapped during rapid droplet growth. For example, CO2 is trapped at levels near 50 mol. % in droplets of acetone, tetrahydrofuran, or trimethylene oxide formed under CO2 pressures of several Torr in a cold-chamber at 170 K. Less but significant amounts of gas are trapped at higher temperatures, or in methanol or water-methanol droplets. The droplet metastability appears to commonly lead to formation of bubbles larger than the original nanodroplets. Besides serving as a guide for the all-vapor gas-hydrate studies, the semiquantitative evidence of extensive trapping of gases is expected to have a role in future studies of atmospheric aerosols. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.