Articles | Volume 10, issue 6
18 Mar 2010
 | 18 Mar 2010

Homogeneous nucleation of sulfuric acid and water mixture: experimental setup and first results

D. Brus, A.-P. Hyvärinen, Y. Viisanen, M. Kulmala, and H. Lihavainen

Abstract. In this study we introduce a new flow tube suitable for binary and ternary homogeneous nucleation studies. The production of sulfuric acid and water vapor mixture, the experimental setup and the method of sulfuric acid concentration determination are discussed in detail. Wall losses were estimated from the measured sulfuric acid concentration profiles along the flow tube and compared to a theoretical prediction. In this investigation the experimental evidence of new particle formation was observed at a concentration of 109 molecules cm−3 of sulfuric acid and the nucleation rates measured at three relative humidities (RH) 10, 30 and 50%, cover six orders of magnitude, from 10−3 to 103 particles cm−3. Particle free air was used as a carrier gas. Our initial results are compared to the theoretical prediction of binary homogeneous nucleation, to results obtained by other investigators, and to atmospheric nucleation.

Final-revised paper