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Direct visualization of individual aromatic compound structures in low molecular weight marine dissolved organic carbon


Fatayer, Shadi; Coppola, Alysha I; Schulz, Fabian; Walker, Brett D; Broek, Taylor A; Meyer, Gerhard; Druffel, Ellen R M; McCarthy, Matthew; Gross, Leo (2018). Direct visualization of individual aromatic compound structures in low molecular weight marine dissolved organic carbon. Geophysical Research Letters, 45(11):5590-5598.

Abstract

Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is the largest pool of exchangeable organic carbon in the ocean. However, less than 10% of DOC has been molecularly characterized in the deep ocean to understand DOC’s recalcitrance. Here we analyze the radiocarbon (14C) depleted, and presumably refractory, low molecular weight (LMW) DOC from the North Central Pacific using atomic force microscopy to produce the first atomic-resolution images of individual LMW DOC molecules. We evaluate surface and deep LMW DOC chemical structures in the context of their relative persistence and recalcitrance. Atomic force microscopy resolved planar structures with features similar to polycyclic aromatic compounds and carboxylic-rich alicyclic structures with less than five aromatic carbon rings. These compounds comprise 8% and 20% of the measurable molecules investigated in the surface and deep, respectively. Resolving the structures of individual DOC molecules represents a step forward in molecular characterization of DOC and in understanding its long-term stability.

Abstract

Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is the largest pool of exchangeable organic carbon in the ocean. However, less than 10% of DOC has been molecularly characterized in the deep ocean to understand DOC’s recalcitrance. Here we analyze the radiocarbon (14C) depleted, and presumably refractory, low molecular weight (LMW) DOC from the North Central Pacific using atomic force microscopy to produce the first atomic-resolution images of individual LMW DOC molecules. We evaluate surface and deep LMW DOC chemical structures in the context of their relative persistence and recalcitrance. Atomic force microscopy resolved planar structures with features similar to polycyclic aromatic compounds and carboxylic-rich alicyclic structures with less than five aromatic carbon rings. These compounds comprise 8% and 20% of the measurable molecules investigated in the surface and deep, respectively. Resolving the structures of individual DOC molecules represents a step forward in molecular characterization of DOC and in understanding its long-term stability.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Earth and Planetary Sciences, Geophysics
Language:English
Date:16 June 2018
Deposited On:01 Nov 2018 12:18
Last Modified:05 Dec 2018 01:00
Publisher:American Geophysical Union
ISSN:0094-8276
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1029/2018gl077457
Project Information:
  • : FunderH2020
  • : Grant ID682144
  • : Project TitleAMSEL - Atomic Force Microscopy for Molecular Structure Elucidation
  • : FunderFP7
  • : Grant ID291194
  • : Project TitleCEMAS - Controlling and Exploring Molecular Systems at the Atomic Scale with Atomic Force Microscopy

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