Recent studies have shown that tropospheric sulfate aerosols commonly contain 50% or more by mass organic species. The influence of these organics on the chemical and physical properties of sulfate aerosols is not fully established. Using an aerosol flow tube technique, we have determined ice nucleation temperatures for particles composed of ammonium sulfate and mixtures of ammonium sulfate with a series of dicarboxylic acids. A calibration curve was developed to allow us to convert the freezing temperatures to a saturation ratio required for ice nucleation. At levels detectable by our experimental technique we find that the freezing temperatures and critical ice saturation ratios of each system were identical, for a given water activity of the solution, even though the solutions contained varying fractions of inorganic and organic components. Further experiments showed that the freezing behavior of pure dicarboxylic acid particles was identical to that of the other systems studied if the water activity was identical. Although the apparent freezing temperatures reported here are substantially warmer than those predicted by the water activity based nucleation theory of T. Koop et al., we find that solution water activity defined the freezing conditions for the systems studied here.
Journal of Geophysical Research
Wise, Matthew E.; Garland, Rebecca M.; and Tolbert, Margaret A., "Ice Nucleation in Internally Mixed Ammonium Sulfate/Dicarboxylic Acid Particles" (2004). CUP Faculty Research. 161.
CU Commons -- Math and Science Department Faculty Research