Growth of organic films on indoor surfaces

Charles J. Weschler, W. W. Nazaroff

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

362 Downloads (Pure)


We present a model for the growth of organic films on impermeable indoor surfaces. The model couples transport through a gas-side boundary layer adjacent to the surface with equilibrium partitioning of semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) between the gas phase and the surface film. Model predictions indicate that film growth would primarily be influenced by the gas-phase concentration of SVOCs with octanol-air partitioning (Koa) values in the approximate range 10≤log Koa≤13. Within the relevant range, SVOCs with lower values will equilibrate with the surface film more rapidly. Over time, the film becomes relatively enriched in species with higher log Koa values, while the proportion of gas-phase SVOCs not in equilibrium with the film decreases. Given stable airborne SVOC concentrations, films grow at faster rates initially and then subsequently diminish to an almost steady growth rate. Once an SVOC is equilibrated with the film, its mass per unit film volume remains constant, while its mass per unit area increases in proportion to overall film thickness. The predictions of the conceptual model and its mathematical embodiment are generally consistent with results reported in the peer-reviewed literature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndoor Air
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1101-1112
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Absorption
  • Octanol-air partition coefficient
  • Partitioning
  • Semivolatile organic compounds
  • Surface chemistry
  • Window films

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Growth of organic films on indoor surfaces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this