Articles | Volume 14, issue 22
Research article
25 Nov 2014
Research article |  | 25 Nov 2014

Particle surface area dependence of mineral dust in immersion freezing mode: investigations with freely suspended drops in an acoustic levitator and a vertical wind tunnel

K. Diehl, M. Debertshäuser, O. Eppers, H. Schmithüsen, S. K. Mitra, and S. Borrmann

Abstract. The heterogeneous freezing temperatures of supercooled drops were measured using an acoustic levitator. This technique allows one to freely suspend single drops in the air without any wall contact. Heterogeneous nucleation by two types of illite (illite IMt1 and illite NX) and a montmorillonite sample was investigated in the immersion mode. Drops of 1 mm in radius were monitored by a video camera while cooled down to −28 °C to simulate freezing within the tropospheric temperature range. The surface temperature of the drops was contact-free, determined with an infrared thermometer; the onset of freezing was indicated by a sudden increase of the drop surface temperature. For comparison, measurements with one particle type (illite NX) were additionally performed in the Mainz vertical wind tunnel with drops of 340 μm radius freely suspended. Immersion freezing was observed in a temperature range between −13 and −26 °C as a function of particle type and particle surface area immersed in the drops. Isothermal experiments in the wind tunnel indicated that after the cooling stage freezing still proceeds, at least during the investigated time period of 30 s. The results were evaluated by applying two descriptions of heterogeneous freezing, the stochastic and the singular model. Although the wind tunnel results do not support the time-independence of the freezing process both models are applicable for comparing the results from the two experimental techniques.

Final-revised paper