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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-3
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-3
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 07 Jan 2019

Research article | 07 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Temperature Effects on Sulfuric Acid Aerosol Nucleation and Growth: Initial Results from the TANGENT Study

Lee Tiszenkel1, Chris Stangl2, Justin Krasnomowitz2, Qi Ouyang1, Huan Yu3, Michael J. Apsokardu2, Murray V. Johnston2, and Shan-Hu Lee1,4 Lee Tiszenkel et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL, USA
  • 2Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA
  • 3School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China
  • 4Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Abstract. New particle formation (NPF) consists of two steps: nucleation and subsequent growth. At present, chemical and physical mechanisms that govern these two processes are not well understood. Here, we report initial results obtained from the TANGENT (Tandem Aerosol Nucleation and Growth Environment Tube) experiments. The TANGENT apparatus enables us to study these two processes independently. The present study focuses on the effects of temperature on sulfuric acid nucleation and further growth. Our results show that lower temperatures enhance both the nucleation and growth rate. However, under temperatures below 268 K the effects of temperature on the nucleation rate become less significant and the nucleation rate becomes less dependent on RH, indicating that particle formation takes place via barrierless nucleation at lower temperatures. We also examined the growth of newly formed particles under differing temperature conditions for nucleation and further growth. Our results show that newly nucleated clusters formed at low temperatures can indeed survive evaporation and grow in a warmer environment in the presence of SO2 and ozone, strongly implying that some heterogeneous reactions involving nanoparticles affect growth of newly formed particles.

Lee Tiszenkel et al.
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Lee Tiszenkel et al.
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Latest update: 23 Mar 2019
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Short summary
Understanding the processes surrounding the formation and growth of atmospheric aerosol particles is essential for understanding their effects on air quality, human health and cloud formation. Current atmospheric models neglect many essential variables that influence these processes. This study investigates temperature effects on new particle formation and the formation of clusters and their subsequent growth in differing temperature conditions.
Understanding the processes surrounding the formation and growth of atmospheric aerosol...
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