Journal article

Cluster activation theory as an explanation of the linear dependence between formation rate of 3nm particles and sulphuric acid concentration

Kulmala M, Lehtinen K, Laaksonen A ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 6, issue 3 (2006) pp. 787-793

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Abstract

According to atmospheric observations new particle
formation seems to be a function of sulphuric acid
concentration to the power from one to two. The
nucleation theorem then predicts that the critical
cluster contains one to two sulphuric acid molecules.
However, existing nucleation theories predicts that the
power is more (or equal) than 2. Here we present an
activation theory, which can explain the observed
slope. In cluster activation the clusters containing
one sulphuric acid molecule will activate for further
growth due to heterogeneous nucleation, heterogeneous
chemical reactions including polymerization or
activation of soluble clusters. In the activation
process organic vapours are typically needed as
condensing agents.

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Authors

  • M. Kulmala

  • K. E. J. Lehtinen

  • A. Laaksonen

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