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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 20 Nov 2018

Research article | 20 Nov 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Dry versus wet? Implications on aerosol impaction and organic volume fraction

Hansol D. Lee, Chathuri P. Kaluarachchi, Elias S. Hasenecz, Zhehao Zhu, Eduard Popa, Elizabeth A. Stone, and Alexei V. Tivanski Hansol D. Lee et al.
  • Department of Chemistry, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA

Abstract. Understanding the impact of sea spray aerosols (SSA) on the climate and atmosphere requires quantitative knowledge of their chemical composition and mixing states. Furthermore, single particle measurements are needed to accurately represent large particle-to-particle variability. To quantify the mixing state, organic volume fraction (OVF), defined as the relative organic volume with respect to the total particle volume, is measured after generating and collecting aerosol particles, often using deposition impactors. In this process, the aerosol streams are either dried or kept wet prior to impacting on solid substrates. However, the atmospheric community has yet to establish how dry versus wet aerosol deposition influences the impacted particle morphologies and mixing states. Here, we apply complementary offline single particle atomic force microscopy (AFM) and bulk ensemble high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) techniques to assess the effects of dry and wet deposition modes on the substrate-deposited aerosol particles' mixing states. Glucose and NaCl binary mixtures that form core-shell particle morphologies were studied as model systems, and the mixing states were quantified by measuring the OVF of individual particles using AFM and compared to the ensemble measured by HPLC. Dry deposited single particle OVF data positively deviated from the bulk HPLC data by up to 60 %. The positive deviation was attributed to significant spreading of the NaCl core upon impaction with the solid substrate, which is not readily evident in AFM imaging and leads to underestimation of the core volume. NaCl core spreading under impaction was confirmed by imaging dry deposited NaCl particles. This problem was circumvented by (a) performing wet deposition and thus bypassing the effects of the solid core spreading upon impaction and (b) performing a hydration-dehydration cycle on dry deposited particles to restructure the deformed NaCl core. Both approaches produced single particle OVF values that converge well with the bulk and expected OVF values, validating the methodology. These findings illustrate the importance of awareness in how conventional particle deposition methods may significantly alter the impacted particle morphologies and their mixing states. Our work can help improve quantification and predictions of chemical mixing states of atmospherically-relevant aerosols.

Hansol D. Lee et al.
Interactive discussion
Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Hansol D. Lee et al.
Hansol D. Lee et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Researchers commonly use dry and wet aerosol deposition modes to collect particles on a solid substrate for experiments. Here, we demonstrate using single particle microscopy and bulk methods, how the substrate-deposited particle with two chemical components can yield different morphologies depending on the deposition method. From this, we can strongly advise future works to use wet deposition whenever possible, in order to obtain accurate assessment of the particle morphology.
Researchers commonly use dry and wet aerosol deposition modes to collect particles on a solid...