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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-137
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-137
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 11 Jun 2019

Submitted as: research article | 11 Jun 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Low-Temperature Triple-Capillary Cryostat for Ice Crystal Growth Studies

Brian D. Swanson1 and Jon Nelson2 Brian D. Swanson and Jon Nelson
  • 1ESS Department, University of Washington, Seattle, WA USA, Laucks Foundation Research, Salt Spring Island, BC Canada
  • 2Redmond Physical Sciences, Redmond, WA USA

Abstract. Ice crystals come in a remarkable variety of shapes and sizes that affect a cloud's radiative properties. To better understand the growth of these crystals, we built an improved capillary cryostat (CC2) designed to reduce potential instrumental artifacts that may have influenced earlier measurements. In CC2, a crystal forms at the end of one, two, or three well-separated, ultra-fine capillaries to minimize both potential crystal-crystal and crystal-substrate interaction effects. The crystals can be initiated using several ice-nucleation modes. The cryostat has two vapor-source chambers on either side of the growth chamber, each allowing independent control of the growth chamber supersaturation. Crystals can be grown under a range of air pressures, and the supersaturation conditions in the growth chamber can be rapidly changed by switching between the two vapor-source chambers using a sliding valve. Crystals grow fixed to the capillary in a uniform, stagnant environment and their orientation can be manipulated to measure the growth rate of each face. The high thermal-mass of CC2 increases the stability and uniformity of the thermodynamic conditions surrounding the crystals. Here we describe the new instrument and present several sample observations.

Brian D. Swanson and Jon Nelson
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Brian D. Swanson and Jon Nelson
Brian D. Swanson and Jon Nelson
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Short summary
We have built a triple-capillary cryostat designed to reduce potential instrumental effects that may have influenced earlier measurements and to improve our understanding of the processes responsible for ice crystal shapes and sizes. In this cryostat, a crystal forms on one of three well-separated and ultra-fine capillaries. In this paper we describe the new instrument and present several observations made using the instrument to illustrate the instrument's advantages.
We have built a triple-capillary cryostat designed to reduce potential instrumental effects that...
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