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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-398
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-398
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: review article 03 May 2019

Submitted as: review article | 03 May 2019

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

A review of experimental techniques for aerosol hygroscopicity studies

Mingjin Tang1, Chak K. Chan2, Yong Jie Li3, Hang Su4,5, Qingxin Ma6, Zhijun Wu7, Guohua Zhang1, Zhe Wang8, Maofa Ge9, Min Hu7, Hong He6,10,11, and Xinming Wang1,10,11 Mingjin Tang et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry and Guangdong Key Laboratory of Environmental Protection and Resources Utilization, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academyof Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China
  • 2School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
  • 3Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Macau, Avenida daUniversidade, Taipa, Macau, China
  • 4Center for Air Pollution and Climate Change Research (APCC), Institute for Environmental and Climate Research (ECI), Jinan University, Guangzhou 511443, China
  • 5Department of Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz 55118, Germany
  • 6State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
  • 7State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • 8Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
  • 9State Key Laboratory for Structural Chemistry of Unstable and Stable Species, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
  • 10University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 11Center for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China

Abstract. Hygroscopicity is one of the most important physicochemical properties of aerosol particles, and also plays indispensable roles in many other scientific and technical fields. A myriad of experimental techniques, which differ in principles, configurations and cost, are available for investigating aerosol hygroscopicity under subsaturated conditions (i.e., relative humidity below 100 %). A comprehensive review of these techniques is provided in this paper, in which experimental techniques are broadly classified into four categories, according to the way samples under investigation are prepared. For each technique, we describe its operation principle and typical configuration, use representative examples reported in previous work to illustrate how this technique can help better understand aerosol hygroscopicity, and discuss its advantages and disadvantages. In addition, future directions are outlined and discussed for further technical improvement and instrumental development.

Mingjin Tang et al.
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Short summary
Hygroscopicity is one of the most important properties of aerosol particles, and a number of experimental techniques, which differ largely in principles, configurations and cost, have been developed to investigate hygroscopic properties of atmospherically relevant particles. Our manuscript provides a comprehensive and critical review of available techniques for aerosol hygroscopicity studies.
Hygroscopicity is one of the most important properties of aerosol particles, and a number of...
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