Faculty Publications

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Published Version

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Planetary Science Journal

Volume

3

Issue

1

Abstract

In Titan’s nitrogen-methane atmosphere, photochemistry leads to the production of complex organic particles, forming Titan’s thick haze layers. Laboratory-produced aerosol analogs, or “tholins,” are produced in a number of laboratories; however, most previous studies have investigated analogs produced by only one laboratory rather than a systematic, comparative analysis. In this study, we performed a comparative study of an important material property, the surface energy, of seven tholin samples produced in three independent laboratories under a broad range of experimental conditions, and we explored their commonalities and differences. All seven tholin samples are found to have high surface energies and are therefore highly cohesive. Thus, if the surface sediments on Titan are similar to tholins, future missions such as Dragonfly will likely encounter sticky sediments. We also identified a commonality between all the tholin samples: a high dispersive (nonpolar) surface energy component of at least 30 mJ m−2. This common property could be shared by the actual haze particles on Titan as well. Given that the most abundant species interacting with the haze on Titan (methane, ethane, and nitrogen) are nonpolar in nature, the dispersive surface energy component of the haze particles could be a determinant factor in condensate−haze and haze−lake liquid interactions on Titan. With this common trait of tholin samples, we confirmed the findings of a previous study by Yu et al. that haze particles are likely good cloud condensation nuclei for methane and ethane clouds and would likely be completely wetted by the hydrocarbon lakes on Titan.

Department

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Original Publication Date

1-1-2022

Object Description

1 PDF file

DOI of published version

10.3847/PSJ/ac3d27

Repository

UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Copyright

©2022 The Authors. Creative Commons Attribution License.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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