Articles | Volume 19, issue 2
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 941–954, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-19-941-2019
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 941–954, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-19-941-2019

Research article 24 Jan 2019

Research article | 24 Jan 2019

Cloud droplet activation of secondary organic aerosol is mainly controlled by molecular weight, not water solubility

Jian Wang et al.

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Earlier studies showed organic hygroscopicity increases with oxidation level. Such increases have been attributed to higher water solubility for more oxidized organics. By systematically varying the water content of activating droplets, we show that for secondary organic aerosols, essentially all organics are dissolved at the point of droplet activation. Therefore, the organic hygroscopicity is not limited by solubility but is dictated mainly by the molecular weight of organic species.
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