Nanometer-scale clusters form from vapor-phase precursors and can subsequently grow into nanoparticles during atmospheric nucleation events. A particularly interesting set of clusters relevant to nucleation is hybrid iodine pentoxide-iodic acid clusters of the form (I 2 O 5 ) x (HIO 3 ) y as these clusters have been observed in coastal region nucleation events in anomalously high concentrations. To better understand their properties, we utilized ion mobility-mass spectrometry to probe the structures of cluster anions of the form (I 2 O 5 ) x (HIO 3 ) y (IO α ) - (x = 0-7, y = 0-1, α = 1-3), similar to those observed in coastal nucleation events. We show that (I 2 O 5 ) x (HIO 3 ) y (IO α ) - clusters are relatively stable against dissociation during mass spectrometric measurement, as compared to other clusters observed in nucleation events over continental sites, and that at atmospherically relevant relative humidity levels (65% and less) clusters can become sufficiently hydrated to facilitate complete conversion of iodine pentoxide to iodic acid but that water sorption beyond this level is limited, indicating that the clusters do not persist as nanometer-scale droplets in the ambient.
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This work was supported by European Research Council Project 692891-DAMOCLES, the Academy of Finland Center of Excellence, ATMATH project, and CSC − Finnish IT Centre.