Photolysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on water and ice surfaces

T. F. Kahan, D. J. Donaldson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Laser-induced fluorescence detection was used to measure photolysis rates of anthracene and naphthalene at the air-ice interface, and the kinetics were compared to those observed in water solution and at the air-water interface. Direct photolysis proceeds much more quickly at the air-ice interface than at the air-water interface, whereas indirect photolysis due to the presence of nitrate or hydrogen peroxide appears to be suppressed at the ice surface with respect to the liquid water surface. Both naphthalene and anthracene self-associate readily on the ice surface, but not on the water surface. The increase in photolysis rates observed on ice surfaces is not due to this self-association, however. The wavelength dependence of the photolysis indicates that it is due to absorption by the PAH. No dependence of the rate on temperature is seen, either at the liquid water surface or at the ice surface. Molecular oxygen appears to play a complex role in the photolytic loss mechanism, increasing or decreasing the photolysis rate depending on its concentration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1277-1285
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 22 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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