Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 8, 4373-4405, 2008
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Applicability of condensation particle counters to measure atmospheric clusters
M. Sipilä1,2, K. Lehtipalo1, M. Kulmala1, T. Petäjä1,*, H. Junninen1, P. P. Aalto1, H. E. Manninen1, E. Vartiainen1, I. Riipinen1, E.-M. Kyrö1, J. Curtius3,**, A. Kürten4,***, S. Borrmann3,4, and C. D. O'Dowd5
1Department of Physical Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland
2Helsinki Institute of Physics, Helsinki, Finland
3Institute for Atmospheric Physics, J. Gutenberg-University Mainz, Mainz, Germany
4Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Particle Chemistry Department, Mainz, Germany
5School of Physics & Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, Environmental Change Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
*now at: Earth and Sun Systems Laboratory, Atmospheric Chemistry Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, USA
**now at: Institute for Atmosphere and Environment, J. W. Goethe-University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
***now at: Division of Engineering and Applied Science, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA

Abstract. The ambient and laboratory molecular and ion clusters were investigated. Here we present data on the ambient concentrations of both charged and uncharged molecular clusters as well as the performance of a pulse height condensation particle counter (PH-CPC) and an expansion condensation particle counter (E-CPC). The ambient molecular cluster concentrations were measured using both instruments, and they were deployed in conjunction with ion spectrometers and other aerosol instruments in Hyytiälä, Finland at the SMEAR II station during 1 March to 30 June 2007. The observed cluster concentrations varied and were from ca. 1000 to 100 000 cm−3. Both instruments showed similar concentrations. The average size of detected clusters was approximately 1.8 nm. As the atmospheric measurements at sub 2-nm particles and molecular clusters are a challenging task, and we were most likely unable to detect the smallest clusters, the reported concentrations are our best estimates for minimum cluster concentrations in boreal forest environment.

Citation: Sipilä, M., Lehtipalo, K., Kulmala, M., Petäjä, T., Junninen, H., Aalto, P. P., Manninen, H. E., Vartiainen, E., Riipinen, I., Kyrö, E.-M., Curtius, J., Kürten, A., Borrmann, S., and O'Dowd, C. D.: Applicability of condensation particle counters to measure atmospheric clusters, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 8, 4373-4405, doi:10.5194/acpd-8-4373-2008, 2008.
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