Ion-induced nucleation of pure biogenic particles

Jasper Kirkby, Jonathan Duplissy, Kamalika Sengupta, Carla Frege, Hamish Gordon, Christina Williamson, Martin Heinritzi, Mario Simon, Chao Yan, Joaõ Almeida, Jasmin Trostl, Tuomo Nieminen, Ismael K. Ortega, Robert Wagner, Alexey Adamov, Antonio Amorim, Anne Kathrin Bernhammer, Federico Bianchi, Martin Breitenlechner, Sophia BrilkeXuemeng Chen, Jill Craven, Antonio Dias, Sebastian Ehrhart, Richard C. Flagan, Alessandro Franchin, Claudia Fuchs, Roberto Guida, Jani Hakala, Christopher R. Hoyle, Tuija Jokinen, Heikki Junninen, Juha Kangasluoma, Jaeseok Kim, Manuel Krapf, Andreas Kurten, Ari Laaksonen, Katrianne Lehtipalo, Vladimir Makhmutov, Serge Mathot, Ugo Molteni, Antti Onnela, Otso Perakyla, Felix Piel, Tuukka Petaja, Arnaud P. Praplan, Kirsty Pringle, Alexandru Rap, Nigel A.D. Richards, Ilona Riipinen, Matti P. Rissanen, Linda Rondo, Nina Sarnela, Siegfried Schobesberger, Catherine E. Scott, John H. Seinfeld, Mikko Sipila, Gerhard Steiner, Yuri Stozhkov, Frank Stratmann, Antonio Tomé, Annele Virtanen, Alexander L. Vogel, Andrea C. Wagner, Paul E. Wagner, Ernest Weingartner, Daniela Wimmer, Paul M. Winkler, Penglin Ye, Xuan Zhang, Armin Hansel, Josef Dommen, Neil M. Donahue, Douglas R. Worsnop, Urs Baltensperger, Markku Kulmala, Kenneth S. Carslaw, Joachim Curtius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

498 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Atmospheric aerosols and their effect on clouds are thought to be important for anthropogenic radiative forcing of the climate, yet remain poorly understood. Globally, around half of cloud condensation nuclei originate from nucleation of atmospheric vapours. It is thought that sulfuric acid is essential to initiate most particle formation in the atmosphere, and that ions have a relatively minor role. Some laboratory studies, however, have reported organic particle formation without the intentional addition of sulfuric acid, although contamination could not be excluded. 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 α-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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-526
Number of pages6
JournalNature
Volume533
Issue number7604
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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