1Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
2GAP, Université de Genève, Chemin de Pinchat 22, 1211 Genève 4, Switzerland
3Institut für Experimentalphysik, Freie Universität Berlin, Arnimallee 14, 14195 Berlin, Germany
Received: 18 Oct 2012 – Discussion started: 20 Nov 2012
Abstract. Using the aerosol and cloud simulation chamber AIDA, we investigated the laser filament induced particle formation in ambient air, humid synthetic air, humid nitrogen, argon–oxygen mixture, and pure argon in order to simulate the particle formation under realistic atmospheric conditions as well as to investigate the influence of typical gas-phase atmospheric constituents on the particle formation. Terawatt laser plasma filaments generated new particles in the size range 3 to 130 nm with particle production rates ranging from 1 × 107 to 5 × 109 cm−3 plasma s−1 for the given experimental conditions. In all cases the particle formation rates increased exponentially with the water content of the gas mixture. Furthermore, the presence of a few ppb of trace gases like SO2 and α-pinene clearly enhanced the particle yield by number, the latter also by mass. Our findings suggest that new particle formation is efficiently supported by oxidized species like acids generated by the photoionization of both major and minor components of the air, including N2, NH3, SO2 and organics.
Revised: 27 Mar 2013 – Accepted: 09 Apr 2013 – Published: 03 May 2013
Saathoff, H., Henin, S., Stelmaszczyk, K., Petrarca, M., Delagrange, R., Hao, Z., Lüder, J., Möhler, O., Petit, Y., Rohwetter, P., Schnaiter, M., Kasparian, J., Leisner, T., Wolf, J.-P., and Wöste, L.: Laser filament-induced aerosol formation, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 4593-4604, doi:10.5194/acp-13-4593-2013, 2013.