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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 2163-2187, 2017
http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/17/2163/2017/
doi:10.5194/acp-17-2163-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
13 Feb 2017
Measurements of sub-3 nm particles using a particle size magnifier in different environments: from clean mountain top to polluted megacities
Jenni Kontkanen1, Katrianne Lehtipalo1,2, Lauri Ahonen1, Juha Kangasluoma1, Hanna E. Manninen1, Jani Hakala1, Clémence Rose3, Karine Sellegri3, Shan Xiao4, Lin Wang4, Ximeng Qi5, Wei Nie5, Aijun Ding5, Huan Yu6, Shanhu Lee7, Veli-Matti Kerminen1, Tuukka Petäjä1, and Markku Kulmala1 1Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
2Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
3Laboratoire de Météorologie Physique, UMR6016, CNRS/UBP, 63178 Aubière, France
4Shanghai Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Particle Pollution and Prevention (LAP3), Department of Environmental Science & Engineering, Fudan University, 200433 Shanghai, China
5Joint International Research Laboratory of Atmospheric and Earth System Sciences, School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, 210023 Nanjing, China
6School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China
7Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama
Abstract. The measurement of sub-3 nm aerosol particles is technically challenging. Therefore, there is a lack of knowledge about the concentrations of atmospheric sub-3 nm particles and their variation in different environments. In this study, the concentrations of ∼ 1–3 nm particles measured with a particle size magnifier (PSM) were investigated at nine sites around the world. Sub-3 nm particle concentrations were highest at the sites with strong anthropogenic influence. In boreal forest, measured particle concentrations were clearly higher in summer than in winter, suggesting the importance of biogenic precursor vapors in this environment. At all sites, sub-3 nm particle concentrations had daytime maxima, which are likely linked to the photochemical production of precursor vapors and the emissions of precursor vapors or particles from different sources. When comparing ion concentrations to the total sub-3 nm particle concentrations, electrically neutral particles were observed to dominate in polluted environments and in boreal forest during spring and summer. Generally, the concentrations of sub-3 nm particles seem to be determined by the availability of precursor vapors rather than the level of the sink caused by preexisting aerosol particles. The results also indicate that the formation of the smallest particles and their subsequent growth to larger sizes are two separate processes, and therefore studying the concentration of sub-3 nm particles separately in different size ranges is essential.

Citation: Kontkanen, J., Lehtipalo, K., Ahonen, L., Kangasluoma, J., Manninen, H. E., Hakala, J., Rose, C., Sellegri, K., Xiao, S., Wang, L., Qi, X., Nie, W., Ding, A., Yu, H., Lee, S., Kerminen, V.-M., Petäjä, T., and Kulmala, M.: Measurements of sub-3 nm particles using a particle size magnifier in different environments: from clean mountain top to polluted megacities, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 2163-2187, doi:10.5194/acp-17-2163-2017, 2017.
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The concentrations of ~1–3 nm particles were investigated at nine sites around the world. Sub-3 nm particle concentrations were highest at the sites with strong anthropogenic influence. Electrically neutral particles dominated sub-3 nm particle concentrations in polluted environments and in boreal forest during spring and summer. Sub-3 nm particle concentrations were observed to be determined by the availability of precursor vapors rather than the sink caused by preexisting aerosol particles.
The concentrations of ~1–3 nm particles were investigated at nine sites around the world....
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