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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-136
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
26 Apr 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
Viscosity of erythritol and erythritol-water particles as a function of water activity: new results and an intercomparison of techniques for measuring the viscosity of particles
Yangxi Chu1,*, Erin Evoy2,*, Saeid Kamal2, Young Chul Song3, Jonathan P. Reid3, Chak K. Chan1, and Allan K. Bertram2 1School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
2Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia, 2036 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z1, Canada
3School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TS, UK
*These authors contributed equally to this work.
Abstract. A previous study reported an uncertainty of up to three orders of magnitude for the viscosity of erythritol (1,2,3,4-butanetetrol) – water particles. To help reduce the uncertainty in the viscosity of these particles, we measured the diffusion coefficient of a large organic dye (rhodamine B isothiocyanate-dextran, average molecular weight ~ 70,000 g mol−1) in erythritol-water matrix as a function of water activity using rectangular area fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (rFRAP). The diffusion coefficients were then converted to viscosities of erythritol-water particles using the Stokes-Einstein equation. In addition, we carried out new viscosity measurements for erythritol-water particles using aerosol optical tweezers. Based on the new experimental results and viscosities reported in the literature, we conclude the following: 1) the viscosity of pure erythritol is 247−107+188 Pa s (two standard deviations), 2) the addition of a hydroxyl (OH) functional group to a linear C4 carbon backbone increases the viscosity on average by a factor of 27−5+6 (two standard deviations), and 3) the increase in viscosity from the addition of one OH functional group to a linear C4 carbon backbone is not a strong function of the number of OH functional groups already present in the molecule up to the addition of three OH functional groups, but the increase in viscosity may be larger when the linear C4 carbon backbone already contains three OH functional groups. These results should help improve the understanding of the viscosity of secondary organic aerosol particles in the atmosphere. In addition, these results show that the rFRAP technique, aerosol optical tweezer technique, and bead-mobility technique give results in reasonable agreement if the uncertainties in the measurements are considered.
Citation: Chu, Y., Evoy, E., Kamal, S., Song, Y. C., Reid, J. P., Chan, C. K., and Bertram, A. K.: Viscosity of erythritol and erythritol-water particles as a function of water activity: new results and an intercomparison of techniques for measuring the viscosity of particles, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-136, in review, 2018.
Yangxi Chu et al.
Yangxi Chu et al.

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Short summary
The viscosity of erythritol, a tetrol found in aerosol particles, is highly uncertain. To help resolve this uncertainty, we measured the viscosities of erythritol-water particles using rectangular area fluorescence recovery after photobleaching and aerosol optical tweezers. These results should help improve the understanding of the viscosity of SOA particles. In addition, we show that multiple techniques give viscosities in reasonable agreement, considering the measurement uncertainty.
The viscosity of erythritol, a tetrol found in aerosol particles, is highly uncertain. To help...
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