In the present work, we have characterized in detail the chemical structures of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) components that were generated in a smog chamber and result from the photooxidation of isoprene under high-NO x conditions typical for a polluted atmosphere. Isoprene high-NO x SOA contains 2-methylglyceric acid (2-MG) and oligoester derivatives thereof. Trimethylsilylation, in combination with capillary gas chromatography (GC)/ion trap mass spectrometry (MS) and detailed interpretation of the MS data, allowed structural characterization the polar oxygenated compounds present in isoprene SOA up to 2-MG trimers. GC separation was achieved between 2-MG linear and branched dimers or trimers, as well as between the 2-MG linear dimer and isomeric mono-acetate derivatives thereof. The electron ionization (EI) spectra of the trimethylsilyl derivatives contain a wealth of structural information, including information about the molecular weight (MW), oligoester linkages, terminal carboxylic and hydroxymethyl groups, and esterification sites. Only part of this information can be achieved with a soft ionization technique such as electrospray (ESI) in combination with collision-induced dissociation (CID). The methane chemical ionization (CI) data were used to obtain supporting MW information. Interesting EI spectral differences were observed between the trimethylsilyl derivatives of 2-MG linear and branched dimers or trimers and between 2-MG linear dimer mono-acetate isomers.
- 2-methylglyceric acid
- Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry
- Secondary organic aerosol
ASJC Scopus subject areas