Non-OH-driven liquid-phase chemistry in water microdroplets

Gaurav Nayak, Jianan Wang, Rui Li, Diana Aranzales, Selma Mededovic Thagard, Peter J. Bruggeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Water microdroplets containing organic and fluorinated compounds, such as formate, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and triflic acid, were exposed to a radiofrequency glow discharge plasma with a droplet residence time on the order of milliseconds. Triflic acid remained unaffected by any plasma condition while >75% decomposition of formate and PFOA could be achieved. In situ hydroxyl (OH)-laser-induced fluorescence measurements near the droplets confirmed that the conversion was independent of the OH flux to the droplet. A series of control experiments suggest that the contribution of vacuum UV photons in such decomposition of aqueous compounds can be significant for He and He + 17% Ar plasmas and can also explain unexpected decomposition trends as a function of droplet residence time in the plasma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2200222
JournalPlasma Processes and Polymers
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
G. N., P. J. B., and J. W. acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation (PHY 1903151) and the Army Research Office under Grant No. W911NF‐20‐1‐0105. D. A., R. L., and S. M. T. acknowledge support from the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Fusion Energy Sciences, under Award No. DE‐SC0020232. The authors would like to thank Prof. Mark Kushner (University of Michigan) for their valuable suggestions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Plasma Processes and Polymers published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • droplet
  • photolysis
  • plasma-induced liquid-phase chemistry
  • plasma–liquid interaction
  • radicals
  • solvated electron


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