H 2SO 4–H 2O–NH 3 ternary ion-mediated nucleation (TIMN): kinetic-based model and comparison with CLOUD measurements

Yu, Fangqun; Nadykto, Alexey B.; Herb, Jason; Luo, Gan; Nazarenko, Kirill M.; Uvarova, Lyudmila A.

New particle formation (NPF) is known to be an important source of atmospheric particles that impacts air quality, hydrological cycle, and climate. Although laboratory measurements indicate that ammonia enhances NPF, the physicochemical processes underlying the observed effect of ammonia on NPF are yet to be understood. Here we present a comprehensive kinetically based inline-formulaH2inline-formulaSO4inline-formulaH2Oinline-formulaNH3 ternary ion-mediated nucleation (TIMN) model that is based on the thermodynamic data derived from both quantum-chemical calculations and laboratory measurements. inline-formulaNH3 was found to reduce nucleation barriers for neutral, positively charged, and negatively charged clusters differently, due to large differences in the binding strength of inline-formulaNH3, inline-formulaH2O, and inline-formulaH2inline-formulaSO4 to small clusters of different charging states. The model reveals the general favor of nucleation of negative ions, followed by nucleation on positive ions and neutral nucleation, for which higher inline-formulaNH3 concentrations are needed, in excellent agreement with Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets (CLOUD) measurements. The TIMN model explicitly resolves dependences of nucleation rates on all the key controlling parameters and captures the absolute values of nucleation rates as well as the dependence of TIMN rates on concentrations of inline-formulaNH3 and inline-formulaH2inline-formulaSO4, ionization rates, temperature, and relative humidity observed in the well-controlled CLOUD measurements well. The kinetic model offers physicochemical insights into the ternary nucleation process and provides a physics-based approach to calculate TIMN rates under a wide range of atmospheric conditions.

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Yu, Fangqun / Nadykto, Alexey B. / Herb, Jason / et al: H2SO4–H2O–NH3 ternary ion-mediated nucleation (TIMN): kinetic-based model and comparison with CLOUD measurements. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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