Publication Details

Ellis, S. R., Pham, H. T., in het Panhuis, M., Trevitt, A. J., Mitchell, T. W. & Blanksby, S. J. (2017). Radical Generation from the Gas-Phase Activation of Ionized Lipid Ozonides. Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, 28 (7), 1345-1358.


Reaction products from the ozonolysis of unsaturated lipids at gas¿liquid interfaces have the potential to significantly influence the chemical and physical properties of organic aerosols in the atmosphere. In this study, the gas-phase dissociation behavior of lipid secondary ozonides is investigated using ion-trap mass spectrometry. Secondary ozonides were formed by reaction between a thin film of unsaturated lipids (fatty acid methyl esters or phospholipids) with ozone before being transferred to the gas phase as [M + Na]+ ions by electrospray ionization. Activation of the ionized ozonides was performed by either energetic collisions with helium buffer-gas or laser photolysis, with both processes yielding similar product distributions. Products arising from the decomposition of the ozonides were characterized by their mass-to-charge ratio and subsequent ion-molecule reactions. Product assignments were rationalized as arising from initial homolysis of the ozonide oxygen¿oxygen bond with subsequent decomposition of the nascent biradical intermediate. In addition to classic aldehyde and carbonyl oxide-type fragments, carbon-centered radicals were identified with a number of decomposition pathways that indicated facile unimolecular radical migration. These findings reveal that photoactivation of secondary ozonides formed by the reaction of aerosol-bound lipids with tropospheric ozone may initiate radical-mediated chemistry within the particle resulting in surface modification.

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