Influence of aerosol lifetime on the interpretation of nucleation experiments with respect to the first nucleation theorem S. Ehrhart and J. Curtius Institute for Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Abstract. The SAWNUC (Sulphuric Acid Water NUCleation) microphysical aerosol nucleation model is used to study the effect
of reactor walls on the interpretation of nucleation experiments with respect
to nucleation theory. This work shows that loss processes, such as wall
losses, influence the interpretation of nucleation experiments, especially at
low growth rates and short lifetimes of freshly nucleated particles. In these
cases the power dependency of the formation rates, determined at a certain
particle size, with respect to H2SO4 does not correspond to the
approximate number of H2SO4 molecules in the critical cluster as
expected by the first nucleation theorem. Observed
∂log(J)/∂log([H2SO4]) therefore can vary widely
for identical nucleation conditions but different sink terms.
Citation: Ehrhart, S. and Curtius, J.: Influence of aerosol lifetime on the interpretation of nucleation experiments with respect to the first nucleation theorem, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 11465-11471, doi:10.5194/acp-13-11465-2013, 2013.