Non-linear photochemical pathways in laser-induced atmospheric aerosol formation


cWe measured the chemical composition and the size distribution of aerosols generated by femtosecond-Terawatt laser pulses in the atmosphere using an aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS). We show that nitric acid condenses in the form of ammonium nitrate, and that oxidized volatile organics also contribute to particle growth. These two components account for two thirds and one third, respectively, of the dry laser-condensed mass. They appear in two different modes centred at 380 nm and 150 nm. The number concentration of particles between 25 and 300 nm increases by a factor of 15. Pre-existing water droplets strongly increase the oxidative properties of the laser-activated atmosphere, substantially enhancing the condensation of organics under laser illumination.

Scientific Reports, 5 page 14978