The Effect of Oxygen on Organic Haze Properties
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The Effect of Oxygen on Organic Haze Properties

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  • Journal Title:
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters
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    Atmospheric organic hazes are present on many planetary bodies, possibly including the ancient Earth and exoplanets, and can greatly influence surface and atmospheric properties. Here we examine the physical and optical properties of organic hazes produced with molecular nitrogen, methane, carbon dioxide, and increasing amounts of molecular oxygen, and compare them to hazes produced without added oxygen. As molecular oxygen is included in increasing amounts from 0 to 200 ppmv, the mass loading of haze produced decreases nonlinearly. With 200 ppmv molecular oxygen, the mass loading of particles produced is on the order of the amount of organic aerosol in modern Earth's atmosphere, suggesting that while not a thick organic haze, haze particles produced with 200 ppmv molecular oxygen could still influence planetary climates. Additionally, the hazes produced with increasing amounts of oxygen become increasingly oxidized and the densities increase. For hazes produced with 0, 2 and 20 ppmv oxygen, the densities were found to be 0.94, 1.03 and 1.12 g cm−3, respectively. Moreover, the hazes produced with 0, 2, and 20 ppmv oxygen are found to have real refractive indices of n = 1.58 ± 0.04, 1.53 ± 0.03 and 1.67 ± 0.03, respectively, and imaginary refractive indices of $k={0.001}_{-0.001}^{+0.002}$, 0.002 ± 0.002 and ${0.002}_{-0.002}^{+0.003}$, respectively. These k values demonstrate that the particles formed with oxygen have no absorption within our experimental error, and could result in a light scattering layer in an oxygen-containing atmosphere.
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    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 859(1), 2018
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