Articles | Volume 14, issue 14
Research article
24 Jul 2014
Research article |  | 24 Jul 2014

Hygroscopic properties of newly formed ultrafine particles at an urban site surrounded by deciduous forest (Sapporo, northern Japan) during the summer of 2011

J. Jung and K. Kawamura

Abstract. To investigate the hygroscopic properties of ultrafine particles during new particle formation events, the hygroscopic growth factors of size-segregated atmospheric particles were measured at an urban site in Sapporo, northern Japan, during the summer of 2011. The hygroscopic growth factor at 85 % relative humidity [g(85%)] of freshly formed nucleation mode particles was 1.11 to 1.28 (average: 1.16 ± 0.06) at a dry particle diameter (Dp) centered on 20 nm, which is equivalent to 1.17 to 1.35 (1.23 ± 0.06) at a dry Dp centered on 100 nm after considering the Kelvin effect. These values are comparable with those of secondary organic aerosols, suggesting that low-volatility organic vapors are important to the burst of nucleation mode particles. The equivalent g(85%) at a dry Dp of 100 nm for nucleated particles that have grown to Aitken mode sizes (1.24 to 1.34; average: 1.30 ± 0.04) were slightly higher than those of newly formed nucleation mode particles, suggesting that the growth of freshly formed nucleation mode particles to the Aitken mode size can be subjected to condensation of not only low-volatility organic vapors, but also water-soluble inorganic species. Based on this result, and previous measurement of radiocarbon in aerosols, we suggest that the burst of nucleation mode particles and their subsequent growth were highly affected by biogenic organic emissions at this measurement site, which is surrounded by deciduous forest. Gradual increases in mode diameter after the burst of nucleation mode particles were observed under southerly wind conditions, with a dominant contribution of intermediately hygroscopic particles. However, sharp increases in mode diameter were observed when the wind direction shifted to northwesterly or northeasterly, with a sharp increase in the highly hygroscopic particle fraction of the Aitken mode particles, indicating that the hygroscopic growth factor of newly formed particles is perturbed by the local winds that deliver different air masses to the measurement site.

Final-revised paper