Journal article

Using measurements of the aerosol charging state in determination of the particle growth rate and the proportion of ion-induced nucleation

Lepp?? J, Gagn?? S, Laakso L, Manninen H, Lehtinen K, Kulmala M, Kerminen V ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 13, issue 1 (2013) pp. 463-486

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The fraction of charged nucleation mode particles as a function of
particle diameter depends on the particle growth rate and the proportion
of particles formed via ion-induced nucleation. In this study we have
tested the applicability of recent data analysis methods to determine
the growth rate and the proportion of ion-induced nucleation from the
measured charged fractions. For this purpose we have conducted a series
of aerosol dynamic simulations covering a wide range of atmospheric
conditions. The growth rate and initial fraction of charged particles
were estimated from simulated data using these methods and compared with
the values obtained directly from the simulations. We found that the
data analysis methods used in this study should not be used when the
nuclei growth rate is less than similar to 3 nm h(-1), or when charged
particles grow much more rapidly than neutral ones. Furthermore, we
found that the difference in removal rates of neutral and charged
particles should be taken into account when estimating the proportion of
ion-induced nucleation. Neglecting the higher removal rate of charged
particles compared with that of neutral ones could result in an
underestimation of the proportion of ion-induced nucleation by up to a
factor of 2. This underestimation is further increased if charged
particles grow more rapidly than neutral ones. We also provided a simple
way of assessing whether these methods are suitable for analyzing data
measured under specific conditions. The assessment procedure was
illustrated using a few examples of actual measurement sites with a more
detailed examination of the typical conditions observed at the SMEAR II
station in Hyytiala, Finland.

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  • J. Lepp??

  • S. Gagn??

  • L. Laakso

  • H. E. Manninen

  • K. E J Lehtinen

  • M. Kulmala

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