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Crystallization of aqueous ammonium sulfate particles internally mixed with soot and kaolinite: Crystallization relative humidities and nucleation rates

TitleCrystallization of aqueous ammonium sulfate particles internally mixed with soot and kaolinite: Crystallization relative humidities and nucleation rates
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsPant, A, Parsons, MT, Bertram, AK
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Volume110
Pagination8701-8709
Date PublishedJul
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1089-5639
KeywordsAEROSOL-PARTICLES, ATMOSPHERIC AEROSOL, deliquescence, HETEROGENEOUS NUCLEATION, HYGROSCOPIC GROWTH, MINERAL DUST, ORGANIC-COMPOUNDS, PHASE-TRANSITIONS, TROPOSPHERIC AEROSOLS, WATER-UPTAKE
Abstract

Using optical microscopy, we investigated the crystallization of aqueous ammonium sulfate droplets containing soot and kaolinite, as well as the crystallization of aqueous ammonium sulfate droplets free of solid material. Our results show that soot did not influence the crystallization RH of aqueous ammonium sulfate particles under our experimental conditions. In contrast, kaolinite increased the crystallization RH of the aqueous ammonium sulfate droplets by approximately 10%. In addition, our results show that the crystallization RH of aqueous ammonium sulfate droplets free of solid material does not depend strongly on particle size. This is consistent with conclusions made previously in the literature, based on comparisons of results from different laboratories. From the crystallization results we determined the homogeneous nucleation rates of crystalline ammonium sulfate in aqueous ammonium sulfate droplets and the heterogeneous nucleation rates of crystalline ammonium sulfate in aqueous ammonium sulfate particles containing kaolinite. Using classical nucleation theory and our experimental data, we determined that the interfacial tension between an ammonium sulfate critical nucleus and an aqueous ammonium sulfate solution is 0.064 +/- 0.003 J m(-2) (in agreement with our previous measurements), and the contact angle between an ammonium sulfate critical nucleus and a kaolinite surface is 59 +/- 2. On the basis of our results, we argue that soot will not influence the crystallization RH of aqueous ammonium sulfate droplets in the atmosphere, but kaolinite can significantly modify the crystallization RH of atmospheric ammonium sulfate droplets. As an example, the CRH50 ( the relative humidity at which 50% of the droplets crystallize) ranges from about 41 to 51% RH when the diameter of the kaolinite inclusion ranges from 0.1 to 5 mu m. For comparison, the CRH50 of aqueous ammonium sulfate droplets (0.5 Am diameter) free of solid material is approximately 34.3% RH under atmospheric conditions.

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