Multiscale Ice Fluidity in No x Photodesorption from Frozen Nitrate Solutions

C. S. Boxe, A. J. Colussi, M. R. Hofftnann, D. Tan, J. Mastromarino, A. T. Case, S. T. Sandholm, D. D. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The temperature-programmed desorption of nitric oxide, NO 2, and nitrogen dioxide, NO 2, during the 302 nm photolysis of KNO 3-doped, spray-frozen ice layers was investigated using two-photon laser-induced NO x fluorescence detection in the range -35 ≤ T/°C ≤ 0. Upon applying steady illumination and a 0.67 °C min -1 heating ramp, frozen KNO 3 solutions begin to evolve NO 2 at increasing rates, while NO emissions plateau soon after until, at ∼ -8 °C, both species surge abruptly. Although the primary photoproduct NO 2 avoids geminate recombination by escaping from a permeable molecular cage throughout, NO 2(g) levels are controlled by desorption from the outermost ice layers rather than by NO 3 - photolysis rates. The NO x accumulated in the deeper layers bursts when the solid undergoes a sintering transition following the onset of surface melting at -10 °C. Since elementary photochemical events occur in a communal fluid phase of molecular dimensions at temperatures far below the KNO 3/H 2O eutectic (T eutectic = - 2. 88 °C), we infer that doped polycrystalline ice contains operationally distinguishable fluid phases of low dimensionality over various length scales and temperature ranges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11409-11413
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 25 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Multiscale Ice Fluidity in No x Photodesorption from Frozen Nitrate Solutions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this