Nucleation Experiments with Monodisperse NaCl Aerosols

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  • 1 Cloud Physics Research Center, University of Missouri-Rolla, Rolla 65401
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Abstract

Nucleation experiments with monodisperse NaCl aerosols showed good agreement with the Köhler theory relating the critical super-saturation Sc to the dry size. Aerosols produced by condensing NaCl showed the same Sc as those produced by evaporating aqueous NaCl solution droplets. This indicates that if there is an energy barrier in going from a dry NaCl particle to a solution droplet, this energy barrier is small. The fact that the evaporation aerosol particles are cubical crystals and the condensation aerosols are amorphous spheres is shown to make no difference in the nucleation threshold.

The investigation also gives insights into the performance of the equipment used, especially the commercial electrostatic aerosol classifier and the vertical flow thermal diffusion chamber developed in this laboratory. When operating this chamber in the isothermal mode, a 36% upper limit was found on the uncertainty in Sc due to index of refraction sensitivity in sizing the water drops. Within this range of uncertainty, the isothermal mode data agreed with the Köhler theory.

Abstract

Nucleation experiments with monodisperse NaCl aerosols showed good agreement with the Köhler theory relating the critical super-saturation Sc to the dry size. Aerosols produced by condensing NaCl showed the same Sc as those produced by evaporating aqueous NaCl solution droplets. This indicates that if there is an energy barrier in going from a dry NaCl particle to a solution droplet, this energy barrier is small. The fact that the evaporation aerosol particles are cubical crystals and the condensation aerosols are amorphous spheres is shown to make no difference in the nucleation threshold.

The investigation also gives insights into the performance of the equipment used, especially the commercial electrostatic aerosol classifier and the vertical flow thermal diffusion chamber developed in this laboratory. When operating this chamber in the isothermal mode, a 36% upper limit was found on the uncertainty in Sc due to index of refraction sensitivity in sizing the water drops. Within this range of uncertainty, the isothermal mode data agreed with the Köhler theory.

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