Succinic acid in aqueous solution: connecting microscopic surface composition and macroscopic surface tensionWerner, Josephina; Julin, Jan; Dalirian, Maryam; Prisle, Nønne; Öhrwall, Gunnar; Persson, Ingmar; Björneholm, Olle; Riipinen, Ilona;
The water-vapor interface of aqueous solutions of succinic acid, where pH values and bulk concentrations were varied, has been studied using surface sensitive X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. It was found that succinic acid has a considerably higher propensity to reside in the aqueous surface region than its deprotonated form, which is effectively depleted from the surface due to the two strongly hydrated carboxylate groups. From both XPS experiments and MD simulations a strongly increased concentration of the acid form in the surface region compared to the bulk concentration was found and quantified. Detailed analysis of the surface of succinic acid solutions at different bulk concentrations led to the conclusion that succinic acid saturates the aqueous surface at high bulk concentrations. With the aid of MD simulations the thickness of the surface layer could be estimated, which enabled the quantification of surface concentration of succinic acid as a multiple of the known bulk concentration. The obtained enrichment factors were successfully used to model the surface tension of these binary aqueous solutions using two different models that account for the surface enrichment. This underlines the close correlation of increased concentration at the surface relative to the bulk and reduced surface tension of aqueous solutions of succinic acid. The results of this study shed light on the microscopic origin of surface tension, a macroscopic property. Furthermore, the impact of the results from this study on atmospheric modeling is discussed.
Published inPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics 2014, volume: 16, number: 39, pages: 21486-21495
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