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The effect of acid–base clustering and ions on the growth of atmospheric nano-particles

Lehtipalo, Katrianne and Downard, Andrew J. and Flagan, Richard C. (2016) The effect of acid–base clustering and ions on the growth of atmospheric nano-particles. Nature Communications, 7 . Art. No. 11594. ISSN 2041-1723. PMCID PMC4876472. doi:10.1038/ncomms11594.

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The growth of freshly formed aerosol particles can be the bottleneck in their survival to cloud condensation nuclei. It is therefore crucial to understand how particles grow in the atmosphere. Insufficient experimental data has impeded a profound understanding of nano-particle growth under atmospheric conditions. Here we study nano-particle growth in the CLOUD (Cosmics Leaving OUtdoors Droplets) chamber, starting from the formation of molecular clusters. We present measured growth rates at sub-3 nm sizes with different atmospherically relevant concentrations of sulphuric acid, water, ammonia and dimethylamine. We find that atmospheric ions and small acid-base clusters, which are not generally accounted for in the measurement of sulphuric acid vapour, can participate in the growth process, leading to enhanced growth rates. The availability of compounds capable of stabilizing sulphuric acid clusters governs the magnitude of these effects and thus the exact growth mechanism. We bring these observations into a coherent framework and discuss their significance in the atmosphere.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Information CentralArticle
Lehtipalo, Katrianne0000-0002-1660-2706
Flagan, Richard C.0000-0001-5690-770X
Additional Information:© 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit Received 21 Sep 2015; Accepted 12 Apr 2016; Published 20 May 2016. We thank CERN for supporting CLOUD with important technical and financial resources, and for providing a particle beam from the CERN Proton Synchrotron. We thank the tofTools team for data analysis toolbox. This research has received funding from the EC Seventh Framework Programme (Marie Curie Initial Training Networks ‘CLOUD-ITN’ grant no. 215072, and ‘CLOUD-TRAIN’, grant no. 316662; ERC grants ‘ATMOGAIN’ grant no. 278277, ‘MOCAPAF’ grant no. 257360, ‘NANODYNAMITE’ grant no. 616075 and ‘ATMNUCLE’ grant no. 227463; FP7-ENV-2010-265148, PEGASOS), the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 656994, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (project nos 01LK0902A and 01LK1222A), the Swiss National Science Foundation (project nos 206621_125025 and 206620_130527), the Academy of Finland (project nos 251427, 1133872 and 138951), the Academy of Finland Center of Excellence program (project nos 1118615 and 272041), the Austrian Science Fund (FWF; project nos P19546 and L593), the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (project no. CERN/FP/116387/2010), the Swedish Research Council (grant 2011–5120), the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grant N08-02-91006-CERN) and the US National Science Foundation (grants AGS1136479 and CHE1012293), US Department of Energy (DE-SC00014469) and the Väisälä foundation. Author Contributions: K.L., V.-M.K. and M.K. wrote the manuscript. K.L., S.Scho., A.F., T.N. and F.R. analysed the growth rates. L.R., S.Scho., N.S., T.J and M.Sip. analysed the mass spectrometer data. J.Ko., A.K., S.E., O.K.-M. and T.O. performed the modelling. K.L., M.K., N.D., H.V., K.C., I.R., D.W., U.B. and J.C. did data interpretation and editing of the manuscript. All other authors participated in either the development and preparations of the CLOUD facility and the instruments, and/or collecting and analysing the data, and they commented on the manuscript. The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Marie Curie Fellowship215072
Marie Curie Fellowship316662
European Research Council (ERC)278277
European Research Council (ERC)257360
European Research Council (ERC)616075
European Research Council (ERC)227463
European CommissionFP7-ENV-2010-265148
European Research Council (ERC)656994
Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)01LK0902A
Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)01LK1222A
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)206621_125025
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)206620_130527
Academy of Finland251427
Academy of Finland1133872
Academy of Finland138951
Academy of Finland1118615
Academy of Finland272041
FWF Der WissenschaftsfondsP19546
FWF Der WissenschaftsfondsL593
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)CERN/FP/116387/2010
Russian Foundation for Basic ResearchN08-02-91006-CERN
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC00014469
Väisälä FoundationUNSPECIFIED
PubMed Central ID:PMC4876472
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160610-145711972
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Lehtipalo, K. et al. The effect of acid–base clustering and ions on the growth of atmospheric nano-particles. Nat. Commun. 7:11594 doi: 10.1038/ncomms11594 (2016).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:67850
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:10 Jun 2016 22:16
Last Modified:27 Apr 2022 22:46

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