Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Measurements of the evaporation and hygroscopic response of single fine-mode aerosol particles using a Bessel beam optical trap

Michael I. Cotterell, Bernard J. Mason, Antonia E. Carruthers, Jim S. Walker, Andrew J. Orr-Ewing and Jonathan P. Reid

A single horizontally-propagating zeroth order Bessel laser beam with a counter-propagating gas flow was used to confine single fine-mode aerosol particles over extended periods of time, during which process measurements were performed. Particle sizes were measured by the analysis of the angular variation of light scattered at 532 nm by a particle in the Bessel beam, using either a probe beam at 405 nm or 633 nm. The vapour pressures of glycerol and 1,2,6-hexanetriol particles were determined to be 7.5 ± 2.6 mPa and 0.20 ± 0.02 mPa respectively. The lower volatility of hexanetriol allowed better definition of the trapping environment relative humidity profile over the measurement time period, thus higher precision measurements were obtained compared to those for glycerol. The size evolution of a hexanetriol particle, as well as its refractive index at wavelengths 532 nm and 405 nm, were determined by modelling its position along the Bessel beam propagation length while collecting phase functions with the 405 nm probe beam. Measurements of the hygroscopic growth of sodium chloride and ammonium sulfate have been performed on particles as small as 350 nm in radius, with growth curves well described by widely used equilibrium state models. These are the smallest particles for which single-particle hygroscopicity has been measured and represent the first measurements of hygroscopicity on fine mode and near-accumulation mode aerosols, the size regimes bearing the most atmospheric relevance in terms of loading, light extinction and scattering. Finally, the technique is contrasted with other single particle and ensemble methods, and limitations are assessed.

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