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Heike Wex
,
Frank Stratmann
,
David Topping
, and
Gordon McFiggans

Abstract

A comprehensive sensitivity study was carried out examining the sensitivity of hygroscopic growth and activation as modeled with the Köhler equation. Different parameters in the Köhler equation were varied within the range of their currently known uncertainties. The parameters examined include not only those describing the nature of the soluble substances in a particle/droplet and the surface tension σ of the droplet solution, but also the recently proposed representation of parameters coupling the Raoult and Kelvin terms (i.e., partitioning of solute between the surface and bulk phases, although the recently proposed adsorption to wettable but insoluble material was not considered). The examined variations cause significant changes in both hygroscopic growth and activation. Whereas the hygroscopic growth regime below 95% RH is insensitive toward the surface tension σ, σ has a large influence on the activation, increasing with decreasing particle size. This implies that a cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) closure, connecting particle hygroscopic growth to activation, has to account for an influence of the examined substance on σ of the particle, especially for smaller particles in the size range from 50 to 100 nm. A simple estimate showed that a lowering of σ by only 10% can cause a change in the activated fraction (i.e., in the cloud droplet number concentration) of at least 10%–20%. Where organic molecules are present in sufficient concentration to reduce σ, surface tension may be an important factor in determining the activation of aerosol particles to cloud droplets.

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Susan Hartmann
,
Heike Wex
,
Tina Clauss
,
Stefanie Augustin-Bauditz
,
Dennis Niedermeier
,
Michael Rösch
, and
Frank Stratmann

Abstract

This study presents an analysis showing that the freezing probability of kaolinite particles from Fluka scales exponentially with particle surface area for different atmospherically relevant particle sizes. Immersion freezing experiments were performed at the Leipzig Aerosol Cloud Interaction Simulator (LACIS). Size-selected kaolinite particles with mobility diameters of 300, 700, and 1000 nm were analyzed with one particle per droplet. First, it is demonstrated that immersion freezing is independent of the droplet volume. Using the mobility analyzer technique for size selection involves the presence of multiply charged particles in the quasi-monodisperse aerosol, which are larger than singly charged particles. The fractions of these were determined using cloud droplet activation measurements. The development of a multiple charge correction method has proven to be essential for deriving ice fractions and other quantities for measurements in which the here-applied method of size selection is used. When accounting for multiply charged particles (electric charge itself does not matter), both a time-independent and a time-dependent description of the freezing process can reproduce the measurements over the range of examined particle sizes. Hence, either a temperature-dependent surface site density or a single contact angle distribution was sufficient to parameterize the freezing behavior. From a comparison with earlier studies using kaolinite samples from the same provider, it is concluded that the neglect of multiply charged particles and, to a lesser extent, the effect of time can cause a significant overestimation of the ice nucleation site density of one order of magnitude, which translates into a temperature bias of 5–6 K.

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