Ion-induced nucleation of pure biogenic particles

Authors/others:Kirkby, Jasper (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main); Duplissy, Jonathan (University of Helsinki); Sengupta, Kamalika (University of Leeds); Frege, Carla (Paul Scherrer Institute); Gordon, Hamish (European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)); Williamson, Christina (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main); Heinritzi, Martin (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main); Simon, Mario (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main); Yan, Chao (University of Helsinki); Almeida, Joao (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main); Troestl, Jasmin (Paul Scherrer Institute); Nieminen, Tuomo (University of Helsinki); Ortega, Ismael K. (ONERA-The French Aerospac Lab.); Wagner, Robert (University of Helsinki); Adamov, Alexey (University of Helsinki); Amorim, Antonio (University of Lisbon); Bernhammer, Anne-Kathrin (Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck); Bianchi, Federico (Paul Scherrer Institute); Breitenlechner, Martin (Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck); Brilke, Sophia (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main); Chen, Xuemeng (University of Helsinki); Craven, Jill (California Institute of Technology (Caltech)); Dias, Antonio (European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)); Ehrhart, Sebastian (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main); Flagan, Richard C. (California Institute of Technology (Caltech)); Franchin, Alessandro (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main); Fuchs, Claudia (Paul Scherrer Institute); Guida, Roberto (European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)); Hakala, Jani (University of Helsinki); Hoyle, Christopher R. (Paul Scherrer Institute); Jokinen, Tuija (University of Helsinki); Junninen, Heikki (University of Helsinki); Kangasluoma, Juha (University of Helsinki); Kim, Jaeseok (University of Eastern Finland); Krapf, Manuel (Paul Scherrer Institute); Kuerten, Andreas (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main); Laaksonen, Ari (University of Eastern Finland); Lehtipalo, Katrianne (University of Helsinki); Makhmutov, Vladimir (Lebedev Physical Institute); Mathot, Serge (European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)); Molteni, Ugo (Paul Scherrer Institute); Onnela, Antti (European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)); Peraekylae, Otso (University of Helsinki); Piel, Felix (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main); Petaejae, Tuukka (University of Helsinki); Praplan, Arnaud P. (University of Helsinki); Pringle, Kirsty (University of Leeds); Rap, Alexandru (University of Helsinki); Richards, Nigel A. D. (University of Leeds); Riipinen, Ilona (Stockholm University); Rissanen, Matti P. (University of Helsinki); Rondo, Linda (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main); Sarnela, Nina (University of Helsinki); Schobesberger, Siegfried (University of Helsinki); Scott, Catherine E. (University of Leeds); Seinfeld, John H. (California Institute of Technology (Caltech)); Sipilae, Mikko (University of Helsinki); Steiner, Gerhard (University of Helsinki); Stozhkov, Yuri (Russian Academy of Sciences); Stratmann, Frank (Leibniz-Institut für Troposphärenforschung); Tome, Antonio (Universidade da Beira Interior); Virtanen, Annele (University of Eastern Finland); Vogel, Alexander L. (European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)); Wagner, Andrea C. (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main); Wagner, Paul E.; Weingartner, Ernest (Paul Scherrer Institute); Wimmer, Daniela (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main); Winkler, Paul M.; Ye, Penglin (Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)); Zhang, Xuan (California Institute of Technology (Caltech)); Hansel, Armin (Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck); Dommen, Josef (Paul Scherrer Institute); Donahue, Neil M. (Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)); Worsnop, Douglas R. (University of Helsinki); Baltensperger, Urs (Paul Scherrer Institute); Kulmala, Markku (University of Helsinki); Carslaw, Kenneth S. (University of Leeds); Curtius, Joachim (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main)
Abstract:Atmospheric aerosols and their effect on clouds are thought to be important for anthropogenic radiative forcing of the climate, yet remain poorly understood(1). Globally, around half of cloud condensation nuclei originate from nucleation of atmospheric vapours(2). It is thought that sulfuric acid is essential to initiate most particle formation in the atmosphere(3,4), and that ions have a relatively minor role(5). Some laboratory studies, however, have reported organic particle formation without the intentional addition of sulfuric acid, although contamination could not be excluded(6,7). Here we present evidence for the formation of aerosol particles from highly oxidized biogenic vapours in the absence of sulfuric acid in a large chamber under atmospheric conditions. The highly oxygenated molecules (HOMs) are produced by ozonolysis of a-pinene. We find that ions from Galactic cosmic rays increase the nucleation rate by one to two orders of magnitude compared with neutral nucleation. Our experimental findings are supported by quantum chemical calculations of the cluster binding energies of representative HOMs. Ion-induced nucleation of pure organic particles constitutes a potentially widespread source of aerosol particles in terrestrial environments with low sulfuric acid pollution.
Number of pages:6
Date of publication:26.5.2016
Journal title:Nature
Peer reviewed:true
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Publication Type:Article