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Journal article

New insights into nocturnal nucleation

Ortega I, Suni T, Boy M, Grönholm T, Manninen H, Nieminen T, Ehn M, Junninen H, Hakola H, Hellén H, Valmari T, Arvela H, Zegelin S, Hughes D, Kitchen M, Cleugh H, Worsnop D, Kulmala M...(+18 more)

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 12, issue 9 (2012) pp. 4297-4312

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Abstract

Formation of new aerosol particles by nucleation and growth is a
significant source of aerosols in the atmosphere. New particle formation
events usually take place during daytime, but in some locations they
have been observed also at night. In the present study we have combined
chamber experiments, quantum chemical calculations and aerosol dynamics
models to study nocturnal new particle formation. All our approaches
demonstrate, in a consistent manner, that the oxidation products of
monoterpenes play an important role in nocturnal nucleation events. By
varying the conditions in our chamber experiments, we were able to
reproduce the very different types of nocturnal events observed earlier
in the atmosphere. The exact strength, duration and shape of the events
appears to be sensitive to the type and concentration of reacting
monoterpenes, as well as the extent to which the monoterpenes are
exposed to ozone and potentially other atmospheric oxidants.

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