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As the fourth most abundant element by mass in the Earth’s crust, iron is ubiquitous and its chemistry is rich and interdisciplinary in nature. This review synthesizes the current state of knowledge of iron chemistry in multicomponent atmospheric aerosols, which is also applicable to other atmospherically-relevant systems that include iron-containing anthropogenic nanodust, ocean surfaces and buildings. Because of the abundance of humic-like substances (HULIS) in these systems, studies on their chemistry with iron and those used as models for HULIS are the focus of this review. Findings from field measurements and laboratory studies are summarized to highlight major themes in iron chemical reactivity that varies depending on the solubility, redox conditions, absence and presence of UV-visible light and reactive oxygen species, pH, and temperature. The review also highlights key differences between bulk and surface chemistry of iron-containing materials, which varies considerably because of the structure of interfacial water and solvent cage effect. Additional laboratory, field, and modeling studies are needed to better understand the contributions of transition metals chemistry to secondary organic aerosol formation and chemistry, uptake, and release of trace gas phase species. This information will improve the predictive power of models that incorporate aerosols chemistry and physics.

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