Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/ar-2024-4
https://doi.org/10.5194/ar-2024-4
08 Feb 2024
 | 08 Feb 2024
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal AR.

Intermediate ions as indicator for local new particle formation

Santeri Tuovinen, Janne Lampilahti, Veli-Matti Kerminen, and Markku Kulmala

Abstract. Atmospheric aerosol particles have considerable influences on climate via both aerosol-radiation and aerosol-cloud interactions. A major fraction of global aerosol particles, in terms of their number concentration, is due to atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) that involves both neutral and charged clusters and particles. NPF is the major source of atmospheric intermediate ions, i.e., charged particles with mobility diameters between approx. 2 and 7 nm. We investigate ion concentrations between 1.7 and 3.1 nm at the SMEAR II measurement station in Hyytiälä, Finland. Both negative and positive ion number size distributions measured by Neutral cluster and Air Ion Spectrometer (NAIS) are used. Our aim is finding the best size range of ions for characterizing local intermediate ion formation (LIIF). Intermediate ion formation (IIF) refers to the formation of intermediate ions through NPF, while local means that the growth of such ions from smaller clusters has occurred in a close proximity to the measurement site, i.e., locally. We find that the ions in the mobility diameter size range of 2.0–2.3 nm are the best suited for characterization of LIIF. The ion concentrations in this size range indicate the elevated rates of IIF, and the potential distances the growing ions have traveled are smaller than those for larger ions. In addition, in Hyytiälä, the negative ion concentrations are more sensitive to IIF than the positive ion concentrations. Therefore, we recommend the concentrations of ions with diameters 2.0–2.3 nm as the best choice for characterization of LIIF.

Santeri Tuovinen, Janne Lampilahti, Veli-Matti Kerminen, and Markku Kulmala

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on ar-2024-4', Martin Bødker Enghoff, 26 Feb 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on ar-2024-4', Anonymous Referee #2, 18 Mar 2024
  • AC1: 'Comment on ar-2024-4', Santeri Tuovinen, 23 Apr 2024
Santeri Tuovinen, Janne Lampilahti, Veli-Matti Kerminen, and Markku Kulmala
Santeri Tuovinen, Janne Lampilahti, Veli-Matti Kerminen, and Markku Kulmala

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Short summary
Atmospheric intermediate ions can be used to study atmospheric new particle formation. In this study we aimed to find the optimal ion diameter for this purpose on a local scale. To fulfill our aim, we used ion size number distribution data from SMEAR II measurement station, Hyytiälä, Finland. We found that concentrations of ions between 2.0–2.3 nm are the best suited for characterization of local intermediate ion formation, and could be used to detect, and evaluate the strength of, local NPF.
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